19 Nov Respect the Bump
Seven months into her pregnancy, Walmart Associate Tiffany Beroid’s doctor told her she needed to take on lighter duties at work. But Tiffany’s managers at Walmart store #1985 in Laurel, MD wouldn’t allow her to follow doctor’s orders – instead they forced her to take an early leave of absence, leaving her scrambling to pay the bills and eventually forcing her to drop out of school when she couldn’t pay tuition and support her family.
Tiffany knew what happened to her was wrong. She connected with other Associates from across the country on Facebook and found she was not alone. Women were often afraid to say they were pregnant for fear of being forced to take leave or lose their jobs. Many worked in harsh conditions to support their families, risking their health and the health of their unborn babies.
These women formed an OUR Walmart group called “Respect the Bump.” Then they got to work! In Minnesota, workers held an event around scheduling issues for single mothers. They sent a letter to Walmart’s headquarters about how pregnant women and mothers were being treated. A group of Walmart Associate-shareholders put a resolution on the ballot of Walmart’s upcoming shareholders’ meeting calling for a change in pregnancy policies.
Shortly after these actions, Walmart overhauled its pregnancy policy to allow for accommodations for women with pregnancies with medical complications.
This new policy means that women like Tiffany who face complications in their pregnancy will be properly accommodated in their stores so they are not forced to take early leave if they choose to work.
While Respect the Bump is still pushing for these simple accommodations to be expanded to all pregnant women for their safety and the safety of their unborn children, this is a major step in the right direction. It’s another reminder that Associates can make Walmart the company we all want and know it can be when we stand together.
How Do I Make Sure This Policy Applies in My Store:
If you have any questions about the new policies, or you know about pregnant workers who aren’t getting access to more hours, email us at RespectTheBump@ForRespect.org
Read the Washington Post’s coverage of the victory here.
Read the letter from our allies to Walmart here.