Congress to discuss Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act

Michelle Durham, before she testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, shared how she could not take another position at her job and had to take an unpaid leave of absence when she was pregnant.
4:51 | 10/21/19

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Transcript for Congress to discuss Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act
So tomorrow up on Capitol Hill in addition to everything else they've got going on CB members a congress talking about growing support for a new act it's called. The pregnant workers fairness act this is obviously something that would affect many Americans any deals with rights regarding pregnant women at the workplace. And job security and and how that relates to everybody's individual needs I want to bring in a woman's going to be up. On Capitol Hill testifying tomorrow Michelle Durham. U. Thank you for coming and I'll never meet but you know you're your story here which until the audience about. You had your dream job yes and and you had gotten pregnant at 22 you're hoping to keep that job yes she tells will that the what happened here. I was working in the MT and at sixteen weeks of I was pregnant and had my first appointment and the doctor put on a regular weight restriction of fifty pounds. Standard across the board. No big deal. Well our stretchers went under pounds with a patient so I contacted my supervisor and told amounts in my weight restriction and we both agreed of course second mark on the truck. Wouldn't be healthy for me it'd be lifting twice the weight restriction without anybody even on the stretcher. And signed discussed with him about moving to the light duty positions that they offered for either. The for the workmen workmen's comp or remaining to dispatch position very. And he's he's only you would talk to HR and get back to mean I was told that I was allowed to admit to dispatch it would they're straining involved that apparently. Would take too long according to them and everything going on. And that. The lady positions were only for those on Martin's comp that have been injured on the job you know you. You try to to work with the system and obviously worked against you. And win. You end up taking leave that was on pain. Food and minor scene means that you tried to find a position during that time. Actually I hadn't taken only that although we didn't intend is this was before I didn't they sent me the paperwork later saying that I was actually. Only allowed to take a ninety day unpaid medical leave a cry. Which would only actually put me through how for the period that I would be on this restriction any laughs all right six months left to go rather. And they actually in the paperwork said that not only was I not eligible to try and apply for. Unemployment benefits or look for another job during this time. But at the end of the ninety days they got to issues whether or not I came back to work may then. Obviously being pregnant is something that you know. Is in and of itself or my wife's pregnant right now I'm finding she's going through oh a lot of changes herself. But to have to worry about your job in the process there are. That had to be overwhelming daunted there was it was very overwhelming it was a very upsetting time it's hard to actually look back at my pregnancy and see the happy moments. Because I spent so long fighting this. I mean when I when I went talk to Heather the whole idea was that this was a misunderstanding she even said this has got to be a misunderstanding. Let's just send them a letter very and that's where we started we sent a letter just to see if we could. Work something out and just get my job back. Now your keys caught the attention of these who you who's been working with you. You're gonna looks far as I said to speak to members of congress yes what do you want them to hear from. I want them to hear how hard it is to have to prove that their positions. That she could've worked. Because with a pregnancy workers fairness act actually puts it on the employer to prove that it's an undue. Burdens to give them a pregnant worker jobs rather pregnant. I mean these are the people that Romney's Portman can't workman's -- jobs hadn't weight restrictions at my level or lower so movement can only lift point five pounds. But I wasn't allowed to take that position and the hardest thing for many people is it. Obviously you want to keep your job it's hard to speak out like you're doing now for women that are in this position they find themselves at this moment yes. I don't I don't own emails to go through every. That's been my whole stand on this. I don't want anybody to have to deal with this because it was a nightmare at the moment I realized that I didn't have a job. That I was pregnant and I was gonna have to find a way to not only pay the bills at a home like everybody else. But to be able to get stuff for my son did clues and a bed and and killed a happy things that you guys think about you know picking out her stuff for your nursery. I liking in the fact that my family and my friends are really supportive panel on hand me downs in gifts and things like to help out with it. But they're women through how that support systems they definitely your sons of Obama oh yes he's amazing he's very anxious and if it. A ball of energy all the time on the show wishing them luck tomorrow you go up there on Capitol Hill Britain Ireland yes her ankle giving them thanks much for your time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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