Lyndi Trischler has a passion for police work.
She became a Florence Police officer in February 2012. Last year, she welcomed her first daughter and a few months later became pregnant with her first son.
While the Florence Police Department modified her duties during her first pregnancy, this time she says the city told her she was on her own.
"I was told that I would need to use all the time that I had saved, vacation and sick time. Once that time was all used up, I would need to go on unpaid leave," said Trischler.
Taking unpaid leave isn't an option Trischler says but working as a patrol officer while 7 months pregnant isn't either. The weight of her gun belt began pulling on her stomach and her bullet proof vest no longer fit. She began having heart palpitations and shortness of breath. She says she asked for a desk job during the latter part of her pregnancy but the city said it was against policy. Trischler is now forced to take off work.
"The time I had saved would be about six weeks I think and from the time I needed to come off the road I wouldn't have made it even close to my delivery so I wouldn't have health insurance by the time I delivered so that was really scary," said Trischler.
To add to the stress, Trischler learned her unborn son suffers from a rare bone disorder and is not expected to live long after birth.
"No one should have to choose between their health and having a family and their paycheck," said Elizabeth Gedmark, staff attorney for A Better Balance.
A Better Balance is a legal team advocating for women like Trischler around the country. They say more and more pregnant women are being forced off the job when they are capable of working in a different capacity. A Better Balance filed a complaint against the city of Florence on Trischler's behalf.
When we asked the city for their side of the story, they sent us this written statement saying quote:
"The city has reviewed the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaint filed by officer Trischler. The city does not agree with the allegations of the complaint, but respects the rights of the officer to bring this proceeding before the EEOC. The city will follow the process in that form and present its defense." -Hugh O. Skees, Attorney for City of Florence.
"I don't think the department would have handled it this way. I think they were just given a policy from the city and I don't think my department had any choice," said Trischler.
Trischler says she doesn't blame Florence Police and looks forward to returning to work. She just wants the policy that is keeping her at home changed.
"I just want to work and earn a paycheck so I can take care of the daughter I already have and keep my health benefits," said Trischler.
Trischler says several of her fellow officers heard about her situation and donated 180 hours of their own off time. Still, it's not enough to get her through the remainder of her pregnancy.
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