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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mud slinging at pregnant in SF

Changes are imminent within the San Francisco Department of Building Inspections. Voicing their opposition to any change, a local builders' association participated in a verbal joust in San Francisco City Hall on Monday. The result: mud-slinging of sexually discriminating and reprehensible comments aimed at the probable replacement, who is pregnant.

James Hutchinson, who is the acting director of the Department of Building Inspection, is expected to be voted out. Amy Lee, the assistant director of the Department of Building Inspections, is the expected replacement.

During the meeting, president of the builders' association Joe O'Donoghue said that Lee is unqualified because she is pregnant with her third baby due in August.

It is unclear why no one on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors attempted to halt O'Donoghue's discriminatory comments.

While O'Donoghue contends that the comments were never made, or that they were taken out of context, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Joan Ryan today came to the rescue. She listened to the transcript tape of the meeting and this is what she heard from members of the builders' association:

"If you appoint her, she cannot function as you intend. Given that she is about to go on maternity leave, she cannot function at any capacity whatsoever. That is a reality."

"My wife refers to it as 'pregnancy brain.' Her mind is on other things. I ask you today, are you going to replace this man with 'pregnancy brain'?"

"That's not disrespect. That's just a metaphor. But when you have a baby, that's all the hormones are about. I'm just making the point."

"The facts are I was there when my kids were born. I know what goes on. You don't have to be a woman to understand. Amy is going to have to take some medical leave. What's going to happen then?"

Lee has worked in the building department for six years. She took a three-month maternity leave and a four-month maternity leave when her first two children were born. "O'Donoghue supported her hiring for the No. 2 position during one of those pregnancies, and he knows she kept in regular contact and even attended meetings while on leave," Ryan wrote. "Yet now that she is slated to replace someone O'Donoghue especially likes, the pregnancy and brief maternity leave are a problem."

Someone really needs to update the members of this builders' association on the employment laws that protect women from discriminating pricks like them.

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