• Elizabeth Warren has shared her experience of losing employment due to pregnancy. (Getty Images North America)
Women around the world are taking to social media to defend Warren and share their own experiences of pregnancy discrimination.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

9 Oct 2019 - 1:21 PM  UPDATED 9 Oct 2019 - 1:50 PM

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has been forced to defend her story of pregnancy discrimination after being branded a 'liar' by right-wing commentators.

According to the New York Times, Warren has told the story multiple times in the past - explaining that she lost her job as a teacher in the early 1970s due to being 'visibly pregnant'.

As she recounted on the campaign trail in June of this year: “By the end of the first year I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days: wished me luck, showed me the door, and hired someone else for the job.”

However, conservative political journalism website The Washington Free Beacon published documents earlier this week which, they claim, contradict Warren’s telling of events. According to Free Beacon, Warren resigned from her  position at the Riverdale Board of Education in New Jersey, with minutes from a 1971 Riverdale Board meeting reportedly proving that members had voted to extend Warren's teaching contract.

Other right-wing news outlets soon picked up the story, driving Warren to confront the doubters and re-tell her experience of discrimination on social media - while calling on other women to do the same. 

"When I was 22 and finishing my first year of teaching, I had an experience millions of women will recognize," Warren tweeted Tuesday morning.

"By June I was visibly pregnant - and the principal told me the job I'd already been promised for the next year would go to someone else."

Then came her call to arms: "We can fight back by telling our stories. I tell mine on the campaign trail, and I hope to hear yours."

The response was swift, with women around the world taking to social media to defend Warren and share their own experiences of pregnancy discrimination.

"When I was 7 months pregnant in 2012, my boss hauled me into his office and chewed me out for 'putting [him] in a real bind by going on maternity leave.' That’s a quote," one Twitter user shared. "He then demanded I return after six weeks and immediately start working 60-hour weeks."

"In the late 90s, after 3 years of stellar reviews/promotions, I was suddenly fired within a month of telling my boss I was pregnant," another added. "They said I lied when I'd called in sick one day (morning sickness), but went to visit family later. I was young and scared, so I didn't fight it."

"I was fired the day after notifying of my pregnancy," one woman tweeted. "And was told it was because 'I wasn’t likeable enough'. I got a lawyer and a settlement."

Some men even got in on the action, sharing stories of loved ones being mistreated at work during their pregnancies.

"My wife was put on a 90 day Performance Improvement Plan with metrics no one in the company could hit...the day she returned from maternity leave," one husband wrote.

"90 days later they let her go."

According to the New York Times, a retired colleague of Warren's by the name of Trudy Randall backed the candidate's account, saying she would have been unwelcome at the school given her pregnancy.

“The rule was at five months you had to leave when you were pregnant," she reportedly said.

"Now, if you didn’t tell anybody you were pregnant, and they didn’t know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer.

"But they kind of wanted you out if you were pregnant.”

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