These fierce female police officers didn't have it easy when they attempted to work throughout their pregnancies—but their stories brought some incredibly important change.
Working moms know how hard it can be to keep up with the demands of a job throughout pregnancy. But can you imagine how incredibly tough it must be to muddle through morning sickness and intense fatigue while working as a police officer, wearing heavy equipment, spending hours in a patrol car, and putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations. It's anything but easy—but neither is the alternative: Losing your income right when you're about to expand your family. No woman should have to feel like she has to choose between carrying out a healthy pregnancy and making a living—yet so, so many are faced with this prospect.
Lyndi Trischler was one of those women. Trischler is a police officer in Florence, Kentucky, and when she became pregnant with her first child, she quickly realized that the physical demands of the job were too much when she was pregnant. Our sister site, Parents, shared a bit of Trischler's story: Her first pregnancy was handled fairly. Trischler requested light duty, and she was given desk work in place of patrol duty—but by the time the mom became pregnant for the second time, things had changed: Police officers were no longer allowed to make job modifications unless they had been injured in the line of duty. Seems a bit reductive, no?
But this story has an uplifting ending: Trischler knew it wasn't fair that she'd have to relinquish her job to keep her pregnancy safe, so she fought the system...and she won.
According to Think Progress, the city of Florence agreed to grant pregnant officers some much-needed job flexibility: Under this new development, pregnant workers are entitled to modify their jobs and take on light work. Trischler wasn't the only woman who triumphed: Fellow officer Samantha Riley joined her in the fight by filing a similar complaint. Both women will receive six-figure payouts as part of the agreement.
Riley, who is pregnant with her second child, felt the difficulties of continuing the job through pregnancy as well, and she's incredibly grateful to Trischler for starting this fight. “The physical pain and emotional strain…became a lot to deal with,” Riley told Think Progress of working through her first pregnancy. “Not having to go through this a second time is completely worth everything that I’ve been through so far."
It's no secret that when it comes to supporting pregnant women in the workplace, we still have a long way to go. But steps like this are reassuring—they are, at the very least, steps in the right direction.