By Kiki Peppard, Action Network Member from Palmerton, PA, pictured here in front of the Pennsylvania Capitol after sharing her story with state legislators
That was the first word on my mind twenty years ago, when I was repeatedly denied employment after I had to divulge in job interviews that I was a single parent.
To this day most people are not aware that in Pennsylvania and many other states it is NOT illegal to ask a job candidate about their marital or parental status during job interviews. Employers use this information to disqualify women with children from jobs they are qualified to fill—just because they are mothers.
I became an activist for change when I didn’t even know what an activist was. As a young, politically naïve mother of two, recently forced on welfare because of Pennsylvania’s archaic employment laws, I didn’t know where to begin. I reached out to 9to5 for training, guidance and encouragement. As a 9to5 Action Network member, I had the tools and support I needed to begin to navigate the Pennsylvania legislative system to get bills introduced to protect women from this discriminatory practice. Regrettably, two decades later, we still do not have these essential protections.
I have not given up hope and ask that you don’t give up hope either. Senator Daylin Leach has taken up this cause and will soon be introducing the Parental Profiling Act.
Today I humbly ask you to please help us get this legislation passed once and for all!
We cannot let another 20 years go by allowing the great working women of this Commonwealth to continue to be denied employment because of archaic laws that are being used to discriminate against women rather than protect their basic rights.
Take a stand – make a call. We CAN and WILL succeed this time!