Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Pregnant firefighter denied ‘light duty’ assignment

 A Florida firefighter who is seven-months pregnant is being told she will have to carry out her normal duties until she gives birth.
Pregnant firefighter denied ‘light duty’ assignment

Nicole Morris, 35, said she is struggling to endure 24-hour shifts as she nears the end of her pregnancy, TC Palm reports.

But the 2016 contract between the International Association of Firefighters Local 2201 and the Indian River County Emergency Services District prohibits her employer from assigning her to modified duty.

“Right now I’m scheduled to work until the day before my C-section,” Morris told TC Palm.

Morris, a 10 year veteran of the fire department, has about 500 hours—or two months—of paid time off saved, which she plans to spend with her newborn baby once it arrives, TC Palm reported.

She’s been given no accommodations, which her doctor insists is unhealthy both for her and the baby.

But Morris insists she has to work in order to support her family—including another child.

Massachusetts mother who reportedly practiced voodoo charged with fatally stabbing sons in ‘ritual incident’

“Who could go 12 weeks without a paycheck?” Morris said.

Neighboring counties—including Brevard, St. Lucie, and Martin—and Orlando, all follow policies that allow pregnant firefighters to move from a combat position to a “light duty” assignment with no dock in pay, TC Palm reported.

But the collective bargaining agreement between Indian River County and the firefighters union prohibits providing similar entitlements to its firefighters.

“Bargaining unit employees shall not be entitled to light or restricted duty for non-duty related illness, injury, or condition (such as pregnancy), except as required by applicable law,” the contract reads.

11-year-old boy dies after saving his friend who fell through thin ice at Queens pond

“We spend a third of our lives dedicated to taking care of the people of Indian River County, and they won’t take care of us,” Morris told TC Palm.

Morris, who is in the third trimester of her pregnancy, described some of the job’s physical demands.

“My gear alone is 70 pounds,” she said. “When we’re running calls, it’s a lot of physical stuff. We’re lifting patients, doing CPR, carrying all kinds of heavy equipment, dealing with carfentanil (a potentially deadly synthetic opioid), and dealing with violent patients,” the firefighter-paramedic told TC Palm.

Firefighters earn up to six days of sick leave a year, according to Indian River County Administrator Jason Brown. They are also entitled to between 11 and 21 annual vacation days.

Employees may also work standby shifts to earn time off in the future.

County Attorney Dylan Reingold said the county has little leeway.

The contract was negotiated in 2016 and is effective through September 2019, TC Palm reported.
read more

No comments:

Post a Comment