The following is an interview with Mrs. Tech, a former technician with a major chain pharmacy. The reason I wanted to interview her was because when she became pregnant she had issues with her company regarding her treatment while being pregnant.
Crazy RxMan: Where do you work... a major retail chain pharmacy, grocery store pharmacy, compounding pharmacy, or hospital?
Mrs. Tech: I work for a major chain pharmacy. I have been with this company for almost 11 years.
When you were hired were you given any policy requirements or limitations about getting pregnant while on the job?
Mrs. Tech: I did not receive any requirements or limitations at the time that I can recall. I was only 21, and kids were not yet on my mind!
Crazy RxMan: How did management respond when they found out you were pregnant? Did you feel like you were being treated differently from the beginning?
Mrs. Tech: When I was pregnant with my first son, 4-ish years ago, management was very excited for me. They watched me go through a miscarriage previously and saw how devastating that was. Plus, my female boss (at the time) was 3 months ahead of me...we would each have a pregnancy "buddy".
This time around I had a different boss (a male)... and nothing was really said about anything. I did not feel as though I was treated any different with either pregnancy, but this became a problem as I progressed. I needed to be treated like I was pregnant and not just someone else who could stand 8+ hours a day without a break to eat or sit.
Crazy RxMan: At any time did you feel like you were pressured to quit your job?
Mrs. Tech: I never felt pressured to quit. I mostly work with others my age, so they are in the same point of their lives, too.
Crazy RxMan: At any time did you feel like the company disapproved of you being pregnant or that you were being treated differently?
Mrs. Tech: I never felt treated differently, except for others not understanding I needed breaks. Not only for my body, but also to feed myself, and to use the bathroom. By this point I wanted to be treated *differently*. I would cry in pain some days. My son was 9.2 lbs.
Crazy RxMan: What advice do you have for female pharmacists and technicians who want to start a family or have another child?
Mrs. Tech: Retail chains are probably not the best choice. Seems like chains are constantly seeing how few people they can have working at any given time. I am a breast feeder, and I don't think I'd be allowed to do that if companies wouldn't get fined for interfering with me. Seems like the same fines need to apply for pregnant women.
Crazy RxMan: Did you ask for any extra accommodations while pregnant? (Such as being able to sit down for a few minutes every hour or two) Were these accommodations denied?
Mrs. Tech: I asked for accommodations, but I would get attitude and sometimes it just was easier to do without. I am unfortunately one of those people who puts themselves last. My last week of pregnancy I had to sit a few times due to hip pain, and a ton of work was left for me to catch back up on when I returned to my station. No one bothered to help me fill. I feel as though I would have done everything to give a 40 week pregnant lady a break! With both pregnancies I worked up until the day BEFORE my induction/c-section, too. I gave them ALL that I had.
Thank you, Mrs. Tech, for taking the time to answer these questions. I think her treatment, intentional or not, was deplorable. Any good pharmacist will tell you how important technicians are to the pharmacy, and male or female, technicians should be treated with respect. Furthermore, any woman who is working while pregnant should be given whatever accommodations she needs to continue working in a productive manner that is safe to mom and baby.