The leaders of a group dedicated to fighting harassment and discrimination on Capitol Hill are raising funds for a woman who says she was wrongfully fired from her congressional job for being pregnant.
Kristie Small says that she was fired last week from a senior position in Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office after revealing that she was pregnant.
Former Capitol Hill staffers Travis Moore and Kristen Nicholson started a GoFundMe page for Small on Thursday night. The pair are the founders of Congress Too, which is made up of former congressional staffers committed to addressing discrimination and harassment in Congress. The two also spearheaded a letter signed by more than 1,500 former Hill staffers urging lawmakers to overhaul sexual harassment prevention policies.
“We are raising funds to help Kristie and her family for the lost wages due to the wrongful firing, for any medical bills that will no longer be covered by insurance, and any other expenses she and her family will accrue during this time,” Moore and Nicholson wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“It’s 100 percent clear to me that had I not been pregnant, I would still be in this job,” Small told the Washington Post. She said that her family’s finances and medical treatment for the remainder of her pregnancy are in jeopardy as a result of her firing.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a woman “cannot be fired, rejected for a job or promotion, given lesser assignments, or forced to take leave” because of her pregnancy.
Cuellar’s office in a statement to the Post defended its decision to fire Small, but declined to address her claims in detail.
“The Office of Representative Cuellar considers internal personnel matters confidential and will not comment publicly on Ms. Small’s allegations at this time, except to say that the office values its employees and conducts all personnel matters in compliance with the congressional Accountability Act and applicable House Rules. All actions taken with respect to Ms. Small’s employment were in compliance with the law and House Rules,” the statement read.
The fundraising goal of the GoFundMe campaign is $10,000.
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