Protesters Accuse School of Pregnancy Discrimination

Kathleen V. Williamsen has charged Elmont Memorial School with denying her tenure because she got pregnant. A group of more than 200 students and teachers protested on behalf of Williamsen and others, charging that pregnancy discrimination is rampant at the school.

Williamsen claims that she received excellent performance reviews until she told her principal, Diane Scricca, that she was pregnant. Williamsen has received unsatisfactory ratings since that day and was told by colleagues that the school was trying to create “a paper trail” that would be used as an explanation for why administrators would deny Williamsen tenure.

Martha Davis of the NOW explained that discrimination against pregnant women and mothers is widespread, at least in part because so few women take legal action against their employers. Pregnancy discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC numbered just 4,299 last year. “When you’ve just had a child is a difficult time to take on that battle,” Davis explained, “That’s one reason why it’s sometimes easier to get away with this kind of discrimination.”

Elmont Memorial officials have declined to comment on the situation. The district’s superintendent, George Goldstein, called protesters misguided and stated, “We have never discriminated against anybody.”


New York Times - April 28, 1999

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