Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Harvey Weinstein will head to trial after all, we meet the woman cleaning up the Dallas Mavs, and Planned Parenthood has a big problem with pregnant employees. Have a wonderful solstice.
A holiday-themed editor’s note: Claire and Emma are already on vacation—and I’m out the door today. The Broadsheet will be off for the next two weeks, but back in your inbox on Jan. 7. Enjoy the rest of 2018, and we’ll see you next year!
• Do as we say, not as we do. As much as I’d like to send you all off into the weekend before Christmas with some cheer and good tidings, this devastating New York Times investigation cannot be ignored.
The article accuses Planned Parenthood of “sidelining, ousting or otherwise handicapping pregnant employees, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees.” And it’s not just PP; the NYT also details cases of pregnancy discrimination at numerous other “organizations with a feminist bent,” including Avon, progressive law firm Mehri & Skalet, and Natera, which sells genetic tests for pregnant women. Among the charges: considering pregnancy in hiring decisions, refusing to provide doctor-ordered breaks, and demoting women who were out on maternity leave.
The story begins with the tale of Ta’Lisa Hairston, who says that even after multiple notes from her nurse explaining that her high blood pressure was endangering her pregnancy, the managers at Planned Parenthood in White Plains, N.Y., refused to give her regular rest or lunch breaks. “I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,” she told the NYT. “It made me jealous.” Then, two months after giving birth to a premature baby, Hairston said her supervisors began “calling her at home, telling her to return to work early.”
The Times reports that 49 of Planned Parenthood’s 55 regional offices do not provide paid maternity leave. The issue is cost, says one regional head, who estimates that the expense of covering leave for her employees would force PP to close the office completely. Yet while the economic realities can’t be dismissed, there’s no excuse for the rampant pregnancy discrimination documented by this story.
These days, it’s impossible to escape the discussion about the importance of being “mission-driven” and difficult to think of a better example of that phrase than Planned Parenthood. But if your employees’ health and welfare isn’t part of that mission, what does any of it really mean? New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Time for trial. The legal case against Harvey Weinstein will go forward after all. Yesterday, Judge James Burke rejected Weinstein’s legal team’s request to dismiss the remaining five counts of sexual misconduct and rape brought against him by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office (Burke dismissed one of the initial six counts this fall). The case will now proceed to a pre-trial hearing on March 7. Vanity Fair
• Don’t know. Don’t care? Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, answering questions about Jakelin Caal Maquin, the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died earlier this month after she and her father were arrested attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Asked how many other children have died in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen replied: “I’ll get back to you on that figure. I’m not going to guess under oath.” WSJ
• Put her in, coach. Meet Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, the new CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and the woman tasked with cleaning up the NBA team’s sexual harassment problems and deeply toxic culture. Bloomberg
• Stoner talk. My colleague Polina Marinova talks to Chelsea Stoner, a general partner at Battery Ventures, about her investment strategy, biggest deals, and take on the French technology ecosystem (she was part of the contingent of tech execs invited to the country earlier this month by President Emmanuel Macron). Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Ramya Swaminathan, who formerly led hydropower energy company Rye Development, will be CEO of Malta, a new energy storage company that’s being spun out of Alphabet’s X.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• From page to screen. Joanne Lipman’s recent book, That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together, will be adapted into a scripted TV series. The former USA Today EIC’s book touches on everything from the gender pay gap to mansplaining to sexual harassment. Let’s hope the show does the same. Deadline
• Hidden no more. In more book news, retired NASA mathematician Katharine Johnson—who turned 100 this year!— is publishing an autobiography, Reaching for the Moon, next fall. Johnson, as you likely remember, was one of the star characters in Hidden Figures, where was played by Taraji P. Henson. The AP
• Firestarter. Okay, I guess we’re just going with the literary theme today: Did you—like me and pretty much every woman in my social circle—read Little Fires Everywhere this year? This profile of author Celeste Ng looks at how, in addition to becoming a generation-defining novelist, she is growing into a “singular force of literary activism, championing the careers of fellow writers who need a boost.” New York Times
ON MY RADAR
The imagined threat of a woman who governs like a man The Cut
Inside the mommy-friendly, scientifically sketchy world of breastfeeding supplements Vox
Why I’ve had trouble buying Hollywood’s version of girl power Buzzfeed
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson: “We must restore the readiness of the force.” Fortune