Warren Doubles Down On Claims She Was Fired in '71 For Being Pregnant

Brittany M. Hughes | October 8, 2019
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Massachusetts Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is doubling down on her claim that she was unofficially fired from her job when she was 22 years old because she was pregnant, despite reports showing she’d already been approved for the job.

Last week, Warren claimed she was ousted from her teaching job in 1971 after she became pregnant, using the claim to illustrate that she was familiar with discrimination women allegedly face in the workplace. But it wasn’t long before critics pointed out the official record showed otherwise – that the Riverdale Board of Education had unanimously approved Warren’s second year in the position when she was already pregnant. The record also showed Warren's resignation was "accepted with regret” a few short months later.

On top of that, Warren seemed to suggest in a 2007 interview that she’d left her job voluntarily, saying she’d “had a baby and stayed home a couple of years.”

"My first-year post-graduation, I worked -- it was in a public school system but I worked with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I actually didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an 'emergency certificate,' it was called," Warren said at the time. "I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, 'I don’t think this is going to work out for me. I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, 'What am I going to do?'"

Despite the pushback, Warren reiterated her claim that she’d been the victim of gender-based discrimination, saying she was fired when she became “visibly pregnant.” 

“When I was 22 and finishing my first year of teaching, I had an experience millions of women will recognize. By June I was visibly pregnant—and the principal told me the job I’d already been promised for the next year would go to someone else,” she claimed. 

“This was 1971, years before Congress outlawed pregnancy discrimination—but we know it still happens in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. We can fight back by telling our stories. I tell mine on the campaign trail, and I hope to hear yours,” Warren added.

This is the second time Warren has come under fire for making claims that don’t line up with the facts. For years, Warren falsely claimed she was of Native American heritage and that her grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee – even going so far as to claim to be a minority on her job applications to the University of Pennsylvania and later at Harvard, where she was listed as a woman of color. However, a recent DNA test revealed she is 0.09 - 3% Native American, at best.

Warren maintained the story for years, blaming family lore for her claims.

Now, it seems she’s again grasping at anecdotal evidence for why she was allegedly fired from her teaching job, suggesting she simply assumed she was let go for being pregnant (despite previously indicating she'd left of her own accord). 

"All I know is I was 22 years old, I was 6 months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job," Warren told CBS News.

(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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