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In its first full year of providing services, First Shift:blackmomandbaby

  • provided over $152,000 in free legal services to low-income pregnant women and working parents.

  • served 47 single moms, pregnant women and working parents.

  • educated 339 pregnant women, parents, medical providers and other professionals about the workplace rights of pregnant women & working parents.

First Shift helped clients like:

Nikki Jefferson. Nikki is a direct support professional for people with disabilities who was forced out of her job at 7 mos pregnant and told to “go home and paint the nursery.” First Shift helped Nikki return to work and receive full back pay for the time she missed.

Antonia Smith. Antonia is a Certified Nursing Assistant whose supervisor gave her a pen and paper and instructed her to write her own resignation note after she requested a lifting restriction on the advice of her doctor. First Shift drafted a letter to her employer and attached a copy of D.C.’s brand new (at the time) pregnancy accommodations law. Antonia returned to work; her employer accommodated her and paid her for the weeks she had been out of work since her forced resignation.


In 2016, First Shift DOUBLED its impact, by:

  • educating 814 pregnant women, parents, medical providers and other professionals in 56 presentations about the workplace rights of pregnant women & working parents.

  • providing direct legal services to 99 single moms, pregnant women and working parents, valuing over $322,000 in free legal services.Mary's Center Photo 1

First Shift’s 2016 clients include:

Sonia Vasquez. Sonia cleaned office buildings. Shortly after telling her supervisor she was pregnant, Sonia arrived at work and was greeted by a male employee who told her he was there to learn her job. She was transferred to another building. A few weeks later her supervisor decided she couldn’t stay at the new location either because her assigned tasks involved “man’s work.” After decreasing her wage by $1 an hour and transferring her to two more locations, her supervisor ultimately removed her from the schedule altogether. Along with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, First Shift represented Ms. Vasquez in filing an EEOC charge against her employer. The case settled and Ms. Vasquez received a generous settlement which allowed her to pay her debts and take care of her baby while she searches for a new job.

Kendra Williams. Kendra works in the produce section of a grocery store prepping and packaging fruits and vegetables for sale. In the later months of her pregnancy, Kendra’s doctor was concerned that she had to stand for her entire shift while she chopped the produce; she advised Kendra to request a stool to sit on. Kendra’s store manager told Kendra she couldn’t use a stool because it posed a safety risk, and denied her request for an accommodation. First Shift helped Kendra negotiate with her employer regarding her accommodation request and her employer provided an appropriate stool for her to sit on for the remaining months of her pregnancy.


*Client names have been changed.


2017 is shaping up to be our best year yet! So far, midway through 2017, we have:

  • given 23 presentations about the workplace rights of pregnant women & working parents;

  • educated 566 pregnant women, new parents, and medical provider staff;

  • trained our first 6 lawyer volunteers; and

  • provided direct legal services to approximately 60 pregnant women and new parents!

Stay tuned . . . we are just getting started!

Photo, Mary's Center training, 6.2017

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