A female trooper who filed a discrimination complaint against the New York State Police said she felt unsafe being alone on patrol in the Big Apple while pregnant and blamed arcane rules that prevented her from transferring to desk duty until her fifth month.
“You never know what you’re gonna get into as a law enforcement officer on the road and especially as a trooper,” Schashuna Whyte, 33, told the Post a day after filing her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“For the most part, we’re traveling by ourselves,” she said. “So, being pregnant and being on the road, you’re at a great disadvantage.“
The NYPD transfers women to in-house duties as soon as they inform their supervisors they are pregnant, said her lawyer, Eric Sanders, a former New York City police officer.
Whyte’s complaint also accuses her employer of not allowing nursing moms in the department sufficient breaks and proper private areas for breast milk pumping.
“It’s been going on forever, since women became a part of the state police,” said Whyte, who is pregnant with her third child. “I know that many of them are even afraid to put family first or even get pregnant because of how we are treated within the workplace. There’s no reasonable accommodations being made for us. It’s sad.”
Whyte joined the State Police in 2016 and became pregnant with her second child in 2017. She said she started experiencing discrimination right away.
By her third month of pregnancy, Whyte said she was already showing but remained on patrol alone. When she complained, her supervisors didn’t flinch, she said.
“‘It doesn’t matter,’” she recalled them saying. “‘I don’t care. You should be working on the road.’”
She says she’s been receiving the support of fellow female troopers, many of whom share similar stories about pregnancy on the job.
Whyte said she hopes her complaint will prompt the state to review its policies.
“The State Police is aware of Trooper Whyte’s complaint and it is being reviewed,” the State Police said in a statement. “All of our policies are in compliance with the requirements under state law. We take all complaints seriously and any issues that are revealed will be handled appropriately.”
“My goal is for us to be reasonably accommodated when it comes to pregnancy,” she said. “Have them take us off the road. Be prepared as far as administrative duties because there are a lot of males in administrative positions. It’s there for us to work. You know, protect us as best as you can.”