New Jersey’s New Years Resolution: Tackle Pregnancy Discrimination | National Women’s Law Center

It’s 2014 and it’s hard to believe that pregnant women still face discrimination in the workplace. Many women can work through their pregnancies without changes in their jobs, but some women need temporary, often minor adjustments in their work duties or schedules to continue working safely during their pregnancy. Unfortunately, many times these women are being fired from their jobs, forced onto unpaid leave, or forced to quit when employers refuse to provide temporary accommodations for pregnant women to continue working without jeopardizing their health and the health of their pregnancy.

First day back to work in 2014 and New Jersey decided to do something about this. Monday, the New Jersey Assembly voted 77-1 (!) to pass a bill that bans pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, including by requiring employers to make the same sorts of accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions that they do for disabilities, allowing pregnant workers to continue to do their jobs and support their families. If signed into law, this means that pregnant workers in New Jersey who need temporary modifications in their jobs to continue working safely during pregnancy—like, a reprieve from heavy lifting, or the ability to sit on a stool while working a cash register—will be able to respect their doctor’s advice without losing their paycheck.

The bill unanimously passed the New Jersey Senate in November, so now the bill heads to Governor Christie’s desk. Governor Christie has until Tuesday to follow the lead of New Jersey legislators and ensure protection against pregnancy discrimination for the women in New Jersey.

via New Jersey’s New Years Resolution: Tackle Pregnancy Discrimination | National Women’s Law Center.

PMEL Arctic site – Polar Vortex – Jan 6, 2014

Colder temperatures to the north and warmer temperatures to the south create winds that generally blow from west to east around the northern hemisphere. This atmospheric river of strong winds can vary from a straight west-to-east pattern, to a more wavy pattern. With the wavy pattern, cold air from the north can be carried south.

via PMEL Arctic site – Polar Vortex – Jan 6, 2014.

Berlin pledges annual ‘Day of German expellees’ | Germany | DW.DE | 08.01.2014

Current government  leans more to the right to counter neo-Nazis or to pander to aging super-nationalists who were used as an excuse by Hitler to begin WWII?

In the early 1950s, the expellees organized in territorial groups “to remember the culture and history of their lost homelands, and to represent their demands,” historian Kittel says. The communities formed by the associations helped many get over their loss.

Initially, the groups had close ties to the Social Democrats – until Chancellor Willy Brandt recognized Germany’s eastern borders, drawn after World War Two, dashing all hopes the expellees may have had of a return. Today, the 20 remaining exile groups in Germany are affiliated mainly with the Christian Democrats – and are grappling with waning membership.

It’s not a surprising development, says Franke: some things can only be kept alive if they are shared in a community like a village. When people move elsewhere, it’s normal that they should find no resonance for their traditions. “You just have to fit in,” he says: even if a memorial day won’t bring back the traditions, it will at least make it possible to commemorate the people.

A date for the day of remembrance has not yet been set.

via Berlin pledges annual ‘Day of German expellees’ | Germany | DW.DE | 08.01.2014.