Dana Bolger

Dana Bolger

  • Hosted by A Better Balance
  • Sponsored by The Art Lerner Memorial Fellowship
  • Service location New York City, New York
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Dana will protect the rights of pregnant and parenting people in the Bronx to receive the accommodations and support they need to stay healthy and on the job.

Every day, pregnant workers are forced to choose between their own health—and that of their pregnancies—and bringing home a paycheck. Low-income women in the Bronx spend most of their waking hours while pregnant at work, often in highly restrictive environments where their ability to rest, to use the restroom, or to eat are tightly controlled. Despite powerful new state and local laws protecting pregnant workers, employers continue to deny women small accommodations like more frequent bathroom breaks or periodic rest breaks, with significant consequences for their pregnancies. Research shows that constant standing, heavy and repetitive lifting, and denial of water are associated with increased risk of preterm birth and miscarriage. And when employers unlawfully push pregnant workers off the job, they can lose their primary source of income, healthcare, and even housing at the very moment they need it most.

Fellowship Plans

Dana will create a legal clinic at a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office in the Southwest Bronx, where she will provide legal support and representation to working women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a new child. She will then work to replicate the WIC model of direct services provision in other states, creating an enduring impact in the lives of women and families all across the country.

This can mean the difference between falling into homelessness and being able to welcome a child into a healthy circumstance and a financially secure home.

Dana Bolger /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Host: New York Civil Liberties Union

Sponsor: Bingham McCutchen LLP

David Miller

Host: Mississippi Center for Justice

Sponsor: Individual Donors, Jones & Funderburg, Law Office of Michael J. Miller, Esquire

Jason Langberg

Host: Advocates for Children's Services

Sponsor: Anonymous

Ifetayo Y. Belle

Host: New York Civil Liberties Union

Sponsor: Norflet Progress Fund