Pregnant Conn. Firefighter Forced To Take Unpaid Leave
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A pregnant Bridgeport firefighter has been placed on unpaid leave, and the woman says she fears she will soon be fired.
The city has put Regina Scates, a six-year firefighter, on leave until the birth of her baby at the end of the year. She is being forced to use her 11 days of accumulated vacation and personal time, and then her paychecks will stop.
Scates, 36, insisted she could be assigned to light duty.
“If I don’t have a check, I’m not going to be able to pay my rent and utilities. If I don’t have any income, how am I going to be able to feed my family?” Scates said in an interview with the Connecticut Post.
Scates said she has been disciplined for using too much sick time, and she believes she might eventually be terminated.
Fire Chief Brian Rooney said he’s reviewing the matter and will issue a decision in a few days.
Thomas Bucci, a lawyer representing Scates, says the fire department is violating federal and state anti-discrimination laws. He says treating pregnancy differently than other disabilities is prohibited, and Scates should be transferred to a job requiring light work.
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