G Spots and Sore Spots
We often face harsh realities when we don’t fit into what society deems to be normal. But, does that also mean we can be harassed or discriminated against? The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) doesn’t think so. In April, the EEOC ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects transgender and gender non-conforming workers from employment discrimination. This landmark change clarifies existing national policy and strengthens this (too slowly) evolving area of employment law.
Did he just say what I think he said? Yes, he did! In May, President Obama announced that he believes that same-sex couples should have the right to get married. Many people are fired up about this announcement specifically supporting gay marriage, although Obama has always been consistent that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. He is the first sitting U.S. president to publically support same-sex marriage -- Welcome to 2012!
A nice thick mattress that helps prevent bedsores, skid-proof floors, and noise-reducing curtains... these are just some of the changes coming to an Emergency Room (ER) near you! The improvements are part of hospitals’ efforts to meet the health needs of our aging population by establishing geriatric-centered ERs. Americans over age 65 make up nearly 25% of ER visits each year. It’s predicted that hundreds of ERs will move in this direction over the next couple of years. What a way to boost patient satisfaction!
Dear Maryland residents please don’t get sick or plan to get pregnant. Why? In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state employees cannot sue states for monetary damages under the 1993 Families and Medical Leave Act if they are denied sick leave. The case was filed by a Maryland employee who needed sick leave to address his medical issues. Instead of being granted sick leave, though, he was fired. Debra Ness, the President of the National Partnership for Women and Families spoke against the ruling, calling it “appalling and dangerous”, and warning it will place a strain on expectant women and others who get sick.
In April, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of medical emergency. The bill is particularly controversial because it starts timing pregnancy from the woman’s last menstrual period. Since this could actually be as much as 2 weeks before pregnancy actually occurred, the bill basically prohibits abortions after 18 weeks. Arizona is the 6th state to enact this 20-week abortion ban, a trend we definitely do not like.
No expectant woman should be shackled during any stage of pregnancy, but California does just that to women who are incarcerated in the state. The cruel treatment of pregnant women at the hands of jail guards has prompted activists to get an anti-shackling bill passed in the last legislative session, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Brown. Advocates are working on a new bill (California Assembly Bill 2530), which would ban the most egregious shackling and prohibit the use of belly chains, leg irons, and handcuffs on pregnant, incarcerated women.