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Women in the News + Simone's Showstopper

August 19: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • Customers are threatening to #cancel CVS (2.7 stars) after the startup Pill Club, which delivers prescriptions to your home, alleged that the pharmacy is proposing to greatly reduce its reimbursement rates to the service. CVS denies that the contract changes would reduce access to birth control, but Pill Club says if CVS doesn’t raise reimbursement rates, the service will be forced to cease their partnership. On its website, Pill Club wrote: “The reality is that we would be out of business if every pharmacy manager did what CVS is doing. And thousands of women would be without the birth control they need.” Fast Company

  • Mark C. Savignac and Julia Sheketoff, a married couple formerly employed at Jones Day, are suing the law firm. The couple allege Jones Day discriminated in its parental-leave policies and that Savignac was fired after he questioned being denied the full leave he was entitled to following the birth of their son. At Jones Day, both biological mothers and fathers who intend to serve as primary caregivers to their child are entitled to 10 weeks of paid leave. Based on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rulings, biological mothers may awarded eight additional weeks of paid leave if that time is related to physical recovery from childbirth. In their suit, Savignac and Shetekoff claim Jones Day awards mothers those extra weeks of paid leave regardless of whether their physical condition warrants it, arguing that the policy reflects archaic parenting stereotypes and more easily allows women to prioritize their partner’s career over their own. NY Times

  • A report from Washington-based Worker Rights Consortium has revealed shocking instances of sexual abuse at a factory in the southern African nation of Lesotho that produces jeans for Levi Strauss & Co. (3.2 stars), The Children’s Place (2.7 stars) and Kontoor Brands Inc. In response, the brands have agreed to combat gender-based violence at the five factories owned by Taiwan-based supplier Nien Hsing Textile Co. Ltd. The program will run for two years and offer protection to more than 10,000 workers in Lesotho. Bloomberg

Quick Hits

  • Gymnastics queen Simone Biles has done it yet again. “It” being making history, of course! The 22-year-old became the first woman to ever land the daunting triple-double during her floor routine at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. For those of use who are a bit more, uh, human, try to imagine a woman completing two full flips and three rotations—in just 1.18 seconds of air time. Here’s a piece that breaks down just how utterly impressive that is. Wired

  • A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding employers with federal contracts could pose risks to job security for gay, transgender, and unmarried pregnant workers. The Trump Administration policy would expand exemptions to Title VII that allow private, religiously affiliated employers to prioritize the hiring of workers who practice the same religion. However, this could greenlight other “religiously motivated” decisions employers might make, such as terminating LGBTQ or unmarried pregnant workers “because of their beliefs.” VICE

  • Despite losing her bid to become governor of Georgia last year, Stacey Abrams gained national attention for her dedication to fighting voter suppression. In an interview with The New York Times, she explains her decision against running for president in favor of continuing her efforts, but says she’d be honored to be considered for vice president. Girl, wouldn’t we all. NY Times

Around the World 

  • Saudi Arabia: According to her sister, Loujain al-Hathloul, a jailed Saudi women's rights activist, has allegedly been offered release from prison if she agrees to deny her claims of being tortured and sexually harassed while in custody. In May 2018, al-Hathloul was jailed along with other women who spoke out about the country’s then-driving ban. And although the ban was lifted soon thereafter, al-Hathloul and her contemporaries remain imprisoned under cyber-crime laws. BBC

  • Brazil: About 300 indigenous women occupied a building of Brazil's health ministry in Brazil’s capital to protest the health care policies of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The federal government is currently in charge of health care and sends specially trained professionals into indigenous communities to provide care. But, Bolsonaro’s administration wants to make health care the responsibility of local governments, and Brazil’s indigenous women fear lack of infrastructure will lead to sub-par care. BBC

  • Spain: Nine women have come forward to accuse renowned Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo of sexual harassment. Al Jazeera

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