Former T-Mobile Employee Says That They Actually Made Her Use Vacation Time To Pee While Pregnant
Oh the injustices that pregnant women can endure on the job — and by “women” I specifically don’t mean the Lean In crowd. Rich women of privilege may need to band together for the “having it all” parade, but some pregnant women can’t even use the bathroom on the job without employer scrutiny, such as Kristi Rifkin.
The mother reportedly became pregnant with her third child when she was working at Nashville T-Mobile Call Center — a job that she had held for four years and loved. According to ABC News, she left another company primarily because T-Mobile had such “great benefits.” All was sunshine and rainbows as she got schedules she needed without problem.
But once she got knocked up, she says that T-Mobile’s attitude towards her changed.
Her pregnancy was reportedly “difficult,” with bi-weekly doctor’s visits to your standard OBGYN and a high-risk OBGYN. Per doctor’s orders, 40-year-old Kristi was instructed to drink a lot of water. Consequently, this meant plenty of trips to pee (as is pretty standard with most pregnancies).
Although T-Mobile didn’t fire Kristi straight away — or bar her from going to the bathroom — they did put her in a lousy situation. She writes on MomsRising.org that the following ensued:
But my company warned me getting up to use the toilet would cut into what people in the call center industry call “adherence” – a metric that measures the degree to which employees stick to their schedules. Being on the phone was my job, so if I wasn’t, I risked being written up and possibly fired. Essentially the message was, “You can go, but understand that if you don’t meet that metric at the end of the day, week and month, we have the opportunity to fill your seat.” They didn’t tell me that I couldn’t use the toilet. But the reality was that this is a metric on how your job is measured and if you don’t meet it, then you do not have your job.
According to Kristi, she was allotted two 15 minutes breaks and a half hour lunch. She describes the general vibe around the office as, “If you can’t take care of your biological needs in that time period, you don’t go.” Even if you’re caring a human, it seems.
That’s when Kristi started to disobey her doctor’s orders for the sake of keeping her job that she sorely needed to support her family:
So I held off eating and drinking. I just couldn’t afford to lose my job or my health insurance during such a high-risk pregnancy.
It was insane.