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More Use, Less Abuse

Maggie Gram,
New York Civil Liberties Union
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June 8, 2006

Wesleyan Econ Prof. Joyce Jacobson opened the day Thursday by taking the conversation to a quantitative level. Dr. Jacobson used data from the Suffolk County Police Department’s records to show the jury how the light duty policy change affected pregnant officers more harshly than non-pregnant officers. Turns out women use five times as much light duty for pregnancy as other officers used for all other off-the-job injuries and conditions combined.

Once she’d shown that pregnant women were most likely to use light duty, Dr. Joyce proved the other half of the argument – that pregnant women are the least likely to abuse it. She testified that pregnant women only stayed on light duty for an average of six months, while men who used light duty status for off-the job injuries stayed on an average of over two years.