Reports & Toolkits

Diana Teigland's StoryI was a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service for nine years in Minnesota. When I became pregnant in the summer of 2012, my doctor placed me on a heat restriction—limiting my time outside on extremely hot days. Although my employer provided indoor work for employees with on-the-job injuries and accommodated people with disabilities, I was never permitted to work inside. Even though there were a record number of extremely hot days that summer, my boss refused to allow me to work indoors. For each hot day I wasn’t able to work inside I had to take a day off—using up one of my allotted paid sick days or annual leave days. This was the leave I had planned to use for my recovery after childbirth, since my employer didn’t offer any paid maternity leave. 

As a result, I didn’t have any paid leave left when my baby was born. I was the primary breadwinner in the family, but during my maternity leave, it was all on my husband’s shoulders. Going without my salary right when I had the added expense of a new baby was very difficult for me and my family. 

I feel like I was punished for being pregnant. It’s clear that company policies need to change. 

Diana Teigland is currently caring for her son and pursuing her education. 


It Shouldn’t Be a Heavy Lift: Fair Treatment for Pregnant Workers, a report from A Better Balance and the National Women’s Law Center, features this and other stories of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Click here to read the other stories and learn more

Published On: June 18, 2013Associated Issues: Pregnancy & ParentingPregnancy, Parenting & the WorkplaceWorkplace