cover image Babygate: How to Survive Pregnancy and Parenting in the Workplace

Babygate: How to Survive Pregnancy and Parenting in the Workplace

Dina Bakst, Phoebe Taubman, and Elizabeth Gedmark. Feminist, $18.95 trade paper (360p) ISBN 978-1-55861-861-9

At the start of this how-to guide, Bakst, Taubman, and Gedmark, legal experts for workplace fairness advocacy group A Better Balance, announce that they want to reach a broader audience for the topic. Arranged in chronological order from pregnancy to parenthood, this well-organized work begins with an assessment of U.S. policy in comparison to other countries, and finds that U.S. policy is often lacking when it comes to supporting pregnancy and parenting. Bias against pregnant women and mothers, the authors claim, is still common despite anti-discrimination laws. They walk readers through the “murky depths” of the Family Leave Act of 1993, noting that many parents are excluded due to complex eligibility requirements for unpaid leave. On the bright side, the authors report that some states have passed supplemental maternity and paternity laws, and they include a useful state-by-state guide to help readers identify their rights. Practical information on such topics as how and when to inform an employer of a pregnancy, and how to write a letter requesting pregnancy accommodations at work, is also included. The authors urge that working parents need to do their “homework” on their legal rights; this book will, no doubt, prove to be a valuable resource. (Sept.)