Workplace Wednesdays is a weekly column designed to shed light on what it’s like to be pregnant and working in America — the good, the bad and the inspiring. This week’s story is Jamera Lee Massop’s of Jamaica, NY.

*****In 2006, I was working as an administrative assistant in New York when I found out I was pregnant. While I wasn’t making a ton of money, I had some savings, lived very frugally, and could support myself just fine. I didn’t think my pregnancy would be a problem in my workplace, so I told my company at the three month mark that I was expecting. Big mistake. I knew that a colleague of mine had recently taken medical leave for a personal illness, and my bosses frequently complained about having to make accommodations for their absence. Still, I never imagined that it was such a problem that they would find it more efficient to simply fire me when I was six months pregnant, with no regard for my health insurance needs, financial future or that of my unborn baby.

I didn’t see the firing coming until the day before I was terminated. The company’s general email inbox, which was my responsibility to check, started to fill with applicants coming from a Craigslist ad offering a position that sounded a lot like mine. Still, I was shocked when my boss sat me down and simply said, “I’m firing you.”

“Give me the reason,” I said. My boss pulled out a copy of my employment contract, now marked up with highlighter. “We don’t have to give you a reason,” my boss said, pointing to the highlighted section of my contract. Your contract says we can terminate you at any time for any reason.”

I told them that firing a pregnant woman was illegal and that I would take them to court. They in turn offered me a very small settlement in exchange for confidentiality. I refused, and they then turned my best friend against me, telling her that they would get her green card through if she convinced me not to take the company to court.

My friend couldn’t convince me, but in the end, my company had little to worry about. The few lawyers who were interested in the case believed that we could win, but said that it would take years to settle. I had a baby on the way and no full-time job to depend on — I did not have days to spend on this case, let alone years. So I signed the papers, put the tiny settlement into my savings account, and pounded the pavement for work. Within two days after being fired, I had secured multiple temporary positions to cobble together an income. Most days were spent working retail and standing for eight hours, which caused my feet to flatten — I have not been able to wear heels since. But I was grateful for the work.

I saved every single cent I could, working seven days a week until the morning of the night that I went into labor. My son was born by emergency C-section on February 13, 2007. I was proud of myself for creating my own paid maternity leave — I knew that I had enough money saved up to stay at home with my son for at least 3 or 4 months, and so I went to live with my mother to avoid paying rent during this time so I could take care of my child and heal from birth.

When my son was two-and-a-half months old, I was mostly healed and I started actively looking for a job, with no luck. I am a hard worker, with great experience in a variety of fields, but I couldn’t get work anywhere. Also, I was uninsured, so every medical visit for me and my son had to be paid for upfront and in cash, to the tune of around $100 per visit, not including vaccines and lab work. Even stretching as far as I could financially, without my job to come back to, which I was expecting prior to getting terminated, I was finally completely broke and broken by the time my son was five months old.

I had to do what was best for my son, and in our case, that meant swallowing my pride and entering the shelter system in New York City, the only place where I could obtain the resources I needed to get myself and my son on any kind of track for success. With the support of the shelter, I was able to find a job, which enabled me to save and network to better jobs so that two days short of my one year anniversary of arriving at the shelter, I was able to leave for our own apartment.

I have been self-sufficient for over four years. I work as a certified QuickBooks bookkeeper for a variety of small businesses (I do remote freelance work in my spare time if anyone reading this needs assistance). I usually work around 10 hours a day, and I am proud to say that I make too much money to qualify for any sort of help for me or my son, but it stings that I still can’t afford health insurance for either of us. Still, things are much better and are always looking up.

The snowball effect from my company getting away with firing me when I was six months pregnant will always stay with me. I would never have ended up in the shelter system if I had just been allowed the dignity of maintaining employment to take care of my family.

The current rules and regulations are so poorly written and non-committal that it is easy for companies to get away with dirty dealings like what happened to me. These businesses know that we women are too weak to fight back and in this economy, that we are so very replaceable. In a sense, the employers are God and they have the right to these choices and you don’t have any right as an employee. Better laws with more protection need to be put in place. They will always find a way around the current laws. To them, we are a liability that they don’t want to afford-which is such a short-sighted thought process.

I am done having kids, but I would gladly say goodbye to a few dollars out of my monthly paycheck to avoid this happening to any New Yorker in the future, especially if the fund also supports other temporary injuries or illnesses that can affect anyone at any time.

I compare the current lack of paid family leave in America to people who complain about paying their taxes. I tell my bookkeeping clients that it’s better to pay your taxes on time instead of delaying and having to pay penalties and fees on top of the taxes. The overwhelming majority of moms just want to work hard to provide for our families. Me getting fired while pregnant, running through my savings after five months, not being able to find a new job, and then, despite my best efforts, ending up in a shelter because that is the only place I could find the support I needed to get my family back on our feet, doesn’t just penalize me and my child. It hurts everyone and it costs us all. I’d rather see mothers at work making money and paying their own taxes than in the system, which is way more expensive for our country than contributing a minimal amount to a paid family leave program.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story.

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饮食中最具有抗癌用处的营养物品是β-胡萝卜素(维生素A前体)、维生素C和叶酸,而在红薯中三者含量都相对丰盛。1个小红薯(约2两重)可提供2倍量 的身体天天所需维生素A、三分之一量的天天所需维生素C和约50微克的叶酸;其中膳食纤维的含量高于一碗燕麦粥。β-胡萝卜素和维生素C的抗氧化用处有帮 助于反抗氧化应激对遗传物品脱氧核糖核酸(DNA)的损伤,起务必的抗癌用处。常吃红薯有帮助于维持身体的正常叶酸水平,体内叶酸含量过低会大增得癌症的 风险。番薯中高含量的膳食纤维有致使胃肠蠕动、防治便秘和结肠直肠癌的用处。


番薯富含钾、β-胡萝卜素、叶酸、维 生素C和维生素B6,这5种成份均有帮助于防治心血管病态。钾有帮助于身体细胞液体和电解质平衡,维持正常血压和心脏效果。β-胡萝卜素和维生素C有抗脂 质氧化、防治动脉粥样硬化的用处。补一下叶酸和维生素B6有帮助于减少血液中高半胱氨酸水平,后者可损伤动脉血管,是心血管病态的独立危险元素。


美国堪萨斯大学一项动物测试了解,吸烟的大鼠体内维生素A水平较低,轻易产生肺气肿;而进食富含维生素A食物的吸烟大鼠则肺气肿发作率突出减少。为什么 一些长期吸烟者活到90岁之上但没有产生肺气肿,可能与他们日常饮食中维生素A含量丰盛相关。研究人员提示那些吸烟者或被动吸烟者最好天天吃一些富含维生 素A的食物如红薯,以防治肺气肿。


日本的研究人员了解糖尿病肥胖大鼠在进食白皮红薯4周、6周后 血液中胰岛素水平分别减少了26%、60%;并了解红薯可有效阻碍糖尿病肥胖大鼠口服葡萄糖后血糖水平的升高;进食红薯也可令减少糖尿病大鼠甘油三酯和游 离脂肪酸的水平;研究tips:白皮红薯有务必的抗糖尿病用处。奥地利维也纳大学的一项临床研究了解,2型糖尿病病者在服用白皮红薯提取物后,其胰岛素敏 感性得到改善,有帮助于保持血糖

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If you’re involved in advertising, you know that it’s difficult to get people to click on ads. Being familiar with this concept, Brian Wong, who, let me add, is only 21-years-old, came up with the concept of turning ads into rewards.

In a nutshell, he developed a mobile platform called Kiip that offers rewards to gamers as they advance within their games. As Wong explained to us, the model is designed to connect with users when they have “moments of happiness” or “moments of achievement” within the games they are playing on their mobile devices.

“We felt that ‘hey, why don’t we tap into these existing, very engaged audiences, but do something that actually values their engagement and actually creates something that’s useful to them rather than to simply show them an ad?’” he pointed out.

The young company, which recently just celebrated its 2-year anniversary, already has clients such as Pepsi, American Apparel, Best Buy, and Disney. The way it works is when a user is at that “moment of achievement,” he or she is offered a $10 gift card for Best Buy, for example.

Since the innovation is quite unique, there has been speculation that the Kiip platform is going to dramatically change the future of advertising. Wong told us that he is humbled by the association and is hopeful about where the platform will head. Kiip has already expanded beyond games to include all apps that have those “moments” and has plans of taking it even further.

“I think people will start to realize how it’s much more than advertising once they actually start to experience it,” explained Wong. “So, the next stage of our company is really about bringing it beyond simply just games and having more and more people get a chance to touch or feel a Kiip reward.”

He did say that he thinks display advertising is here to stay, but he believes that the idea of a “reward network” is really catching on.

Kiip is currently available on both Apple and Android platforms, and more than 400 apps have already adopted it. Wong also hinted that we would see much more from the platform in the coming weeks.

Does the idea of Kiip’s reward network take away the stigma that is normally associated with ads? If so, how do you see this platform changing the advertising industry? We’d love to hear your take.

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It’s campaign season, and YouTube has been an integral part of that by streaming the conventions and debates live on their Elections Hub. Now, they’re turning to another type of campaign.

YouTube has just launched another tool to help the nonprofit organizations enrolled in their YouTube Nonprofit program. Now, YouTube wants to give channel owners a “digital thermometer” for their videos.

It’s simply called “Campaigns,” and it allows YouTube Nonprofit members to set specific goals and broadcast them to viewers.

“This new feature allows nonprofits to create campaigns with goals like increasing views or subscribers, track their progress, and let people to contribute to their goals,” says the company in a blog post. “A campaign consists of one or more videos…Once a campaign is created, videos in that campaign will show an overlay on them, encouraging viewers to contribute to the campaign.”

Not only will the video itself show an overlay with the progress bar, but the campaign will display front and center on the nonprofit’s channel. The Campaigns box with show the goal progress bar, how many days left in the campaign, as well as the number of new shares of the particular video(s).

According to YouTube, they now have over 18,000 nonprofits enrolled in the program. They recently gave the option to include a more prominent donate button inside videos and also held the Next Cause program, a summit that enables charitable organizations to participate in a summit that gave them information on how to better achieve their goals.

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Empower Network – It’s A Dirty Word That Makes You Rich

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Perspective changes everything, my friends.

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For many, most actually, it’s a DIRTY WORD.

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It’s the “missing link” in EVERY SINGLE AREA
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