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What Trump Means for Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

The new Trump Administration will bring change on many fronts, and policy around pregnancy discrimination in the workplace could be one of them. While the discussions around possible federally mandated paid parental leave have got women just about ready to pull the goalie, it’s also worth taking a closer look at what the workplace environment could be like for a working mama-to-be under President Trump.

“There could be some light at the end of the tunnel for parental leave, but for pregnancy, the story is a little bit dimmer,” says Tom Spiggle, an employment attorney and founder of the Spiggle Law Firm, who focuses on workplace discrimination and wrongful termination due to pregnancy and other family care issues.

Below, Spiggle outlines 3 things you need to know when it comes to pregnancy discrimination under the Trump Administration.

1. It’s not necessarily policy that will change, but priority given to women pursuing pregnancy discrimination cases. Spiggle points out two areas where Trump could make changes that would affect pregnancy discrimination negatively:

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Under the Obama Administration, the EEOC has had pregnancy discrimination as one of its priorities in its strategic enforcement plan. That means when the EEOC is screening cases and deciding where to put its resources, it would put a high priority on pregnancy discrimination. “I think we’ll see that evaporate under the Trump Administration, since as with most federal agencies, he’s likely to weaken the EEOC,” says Spiggle. Although the statute will still be there, and women can still pursue it, the EEOC could take on fewer individual pregnancy discrimination cases.
  • The Federal Judiciary: If the EEOC doesn’t take your case because it’s underfunded and overworked, the next step is filing in federal court. But with conservative appointees to federal positions, we’re likely going to see a Federal judiciary that may not favor civil rights causes of action, says Spiggle. They could be more hostile towards discrimination cases, or more likely to kick cases out before they get to a trial. So it’s going to be an uphill climb for women pursuing pregnancy discrimination claims.

Spiggle notes that some states (New York, California, and Maryland are a few) have laws that disallow pregnancy discrimination and enable women to bring claims to state court, which bodes well for working moms-to-be. But, he adds, “It’s a tale of two Americas. Most of these laws are in the blue states, while a lot of the red states don’t have those statutes.”

2. It could take a while for anything to change. Until Trump is in office, we don’t know what his priorities will be, but most suspect that employment issues may be lower down on his list. “I would not be surprised if it’s a year or more before we see a lot of movement -- it won’t be like flipping a switch,” says Spiggle. He speculates that Trump could first turn his attention to overturning recent regulations that greatly expanded the number of people eligible for overtime, which typically help pregnant women and families. But changes to the EEOC or Federal Judiciary won’t be immediate.

3. Brush up on the law, and protect yourself. Pregnancy discrimination happens more than you think, and it’s not always overt. Yes, women do actually get fired during pregnancy or laid off during maternity leave, but there’s also other more subtle forms of discrimination like “benign paternalism,” says Spiggle -- when your boss unilaterally decides that a work challenge is just too much for you in your pregnant state, or scales back on opportunities available to you.

“Most employers want to do the right thing,” and many HR departments have policies in place to protect you, he says, but “companies don’t always have the resources to enforce those policies.” Here are a few tips to help you protect and advocate for yourself during pregnancy:

  1. Do your homework. Know how your state law relates to pregnancy and maternity leave, and read your company’s handbook. Understand what your protections are.
  2. Be proactive about your pregnancy and maternity leave. Have the conversation with your workplace early and give your employer a plan as it relates to your pregnancy and maternity leave.
  3. Be prepared in case you do feel you are being discriminated against. There are so many good organizations that have resources that can help you, including A Better Balance and Work Life Law. Know what to look out for and what steps to take if you experience pregnancy discrimination.

Photography by Amy Frances for Well Rounded.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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