Tuesday, May 06, 2008


FoxSnooze is reporting that a town in New Jersey has denied the request of a female police officer to be on light duty while she is pregnant.

They're not being as difficult as it sounds. The city says that the woman can take an unpaid leave of absence if she wants to. I have little doubt there will be a lawsuit over this issue but let's look at it a little closer.

The woman voluntarily became a police officer which she knew was a physically demanding at the very least not to mention dangerous. The woman also chose to have sex and risk pregnancy. It would be easy to say that if someone was injured, on or off the job, they should be allowed to be on light duty during the recovery period. The analogy fails though because pregnancy is a common and predictable outcome of sexual activity. Likewise, if a cop injured himself by racing down hills while riding in a shopping cart, his employer should not be forced to pay him for duties he's not peforming while recovering from his very predictable injuries resulting from reckless behavior.

Sure, the town could CHOOSE to put her on light duty and they should have a clear and consistent policy in regards to temporary disability and recovery periods. If they choose to allow anyone injured for any reason to be put on light duty then fine. But to make an exception for pregnancy is really not equal treatment if men cannot go on light duty for temporary disabilities also.

I'm sure the feminists will be howling mad over this one, but the fact is, she's expecting special treatment, not equal treatment.

Just to be clear, I believe employers and employees should have an absolute right to freedom of association. That means an employee can leave a job for any reason and an employer can hire or fire anyone for any reason. Employment is a contract for exchange of labor between two parties. If the two parties agree to the terms, then the contract is made. If the contract specifies reasons for terminating the contract or places prohibitions on those reasons, that's fine too. But an employee or company should not be forced to retain an employee they no longer desire to employ for reasons not agreed to by both parties.