Pregnancy and the Workplace

Whether you have had a baby,  are thinking about having a baby, or simply work with someone who has had a baby, pregnancy in the workplace can be a hot topic.  Just like employees, employers often do not know what they should or can do regarding an employee's pregnancy. This year, TYLA addressed these issues in two written guides: Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Rights(for employees) and Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Duties (for employers).  Both can be found on TYLA's Website. Additionally, TYLA Directors Raymond Baeza, Courtney Barksdale Perez, Baili Rhodes and Shannon White participated in two panel discussions for the 10 Minute Mentor Series.  The panel shared their experiences, and discussed applicable employment law. I encourage each of you to check out this series, and share with your employer clients (and your colleagues). #jointheconversation

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A City Attorney on Life and Lawyering

Before I expound on a few words of wisdom about work, kids, marriage, life in general, let me provide a short introduction. A little context will hopefully help you understand where the thoughts expressed below are coming from. I am a lawyer - no surprise there. I have been a licensed attorney for almost eight years. I started my career at a small plaintiffs firm in Houston, but for the past four years, I have been working in municipal law. I am currently the City Attorney for the City of Temple and have been in this position for a little over a year. If you have ever driven on Interstate 35 from Dallas to Austin or vice versa, you have driven through Temple. It is home to Baylor Scott & White Hospital, McLane Company, and one of the newest Buc-ee's in Texas. It is a rapidly growing city with a…

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Leading Ladies: Judge Maria A. Salas-Mendoza

What an honor and a privilege to hear from leaders in our profession on the topic of Diversity.  This week, TYLA Director Raymond Baeza interviewed the Honorable Maria A. Salas-Mendoza, Judge for the 120th Judicial District Court of Texas. Thank you Judge Salas-Mendoza for contributing this week. * Why is diversity important in the legal profession? Diversity is very important in the legal profession because there is greater lack of information about the legal system, lack of trust in lawyers and the system and lack of time and resources among diverse populations, including racial and ethnic minorities and poor people.  Our system is even more intimidating when these individuals cannot find anyone within the system that even looks like them or is empathetic to their unique circumstances. There are many barriers to access and not having diversity in prospective lawyers and the bench only heightens distrust among people who most…

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Babies, Bio-Clocks, and the Billable Hour.

Talk about a phrase that can send this young lawyer into a bit of a panic.  I mean, is there a series of words that is more panic inducing than those for young female lawyers??   Sure, I don’t have kids yet.  But that’s exactly what all the panic is all about. My mommy lawyer friends are well-settled into a life where kids and family are obviously the most important thing, even when work remains an important priority. Life has got to be hard, balancing all of those actual real-life demands. No question.  But what if all those things are still hypothetical…you are just starting a family, or want to, and you’ve got two clocks ticking loudly in the background—the one that says your running out of time!! And the one that says you better bill some time or watch your professional trajectory stall out just when it’s getting good!…

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Mommy Guilt is Real, but We Shouldn’t Feel so Guilty

I find that at times the working mom guilt can be overwhelming.  My son the other day commented how all of his friends at school “get picked up by their mommies.”  He was quick to highlight that “I NEVER pick him up!”  Which of course is not true, but then I didn’t want to start a debate with my five year old on why I work. I loved this article by Gabriel Fischer.  His words were so encouraging to me and the message that my employment has a “long-lasting, positive effect” on my children made me smile.   Anything that helps reduce the mommy guilt is a great read! The guilt many working mothers confess to may be real, but it’s looking less and less warranted."  --Gabriel Fisher

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Finally, Courts Give Female Workers A Much-Needed “W”

The judicial system has not been particularly kind to working women recently. Breast-feeding moms, moms to be and really just women in general had been dealt what felt like unfair blows by the legal system, including The Supremes.

I stand by my belief The Supremes cheated Angela Ames (remember the woman fired for needing to pump her breast milk) out of her right to a jury trial; however, I also forecast better days for pregnant and really all women in the workplace.

My optimism is based on Peggy Young.

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