Police officer Akema Thompson hoped to further her career by taking a sergeant’s exam that the New York City Police department was offering for the first time in two years. The problem was she was pregnant, and her due date was the same day as the exam. She petitioned the city for a make-up exam, but was told that exemptions, which are allowed under a variety of circumstances, were “not applicable to [her] case.” She could not make up the exam but she could take it on the scheduled date with extra time allotted — the city would provide her a cushion to sit on. Thompson spent the day of the exam in the hospital. Two months later, Thompson met with Legal Momentum, a women’s advocacy group, which filed a pregnancy discrimination charge against the city. This past month the city settled the case, compensating Thompson with $50,000 and a make-up test date in January, and promising to amend its policy to allow women with pregnancy or childbirth-related condition to be made eligible for make-up exams. Thanks to Officer Thompson’s courage, pregnancy will no longer be a factor in whether or not female police officers advance through the ranks.
Read the full story at The New York Times.