Third Year student awarded two national awards and selected for publication.

Deedee Bitran’s Pregnancy Accommodation Paper Wins Two National Writing Competitions and Will Be Published in the Women’s Rights Law Reporter.

Third year FIU Law Student, Deedee Bitran, won two national writing contests and accepted an offer of publication for her paper, “What is Due With a Due Date: Reasonable Pregnancy Accommodations in the Workplace.” Mrs. Bitran has been recognized by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) as the winner of the 2nd Annual Law Writing Award on Social Insurance. The NASI award includes a $2500 honorarium and a trip to Washington DC. Additionally, Mrs. Bitran’s paper was selected as the second place winner of the New York State Bar Association’s Section on Labor and Employment Law’s 2015 Dr. Emanuel Stein and Kenneth D. Stein Memorial Writing Competition with a $2000 award and an award ceremony in New York.

“Being notified yesterday of winning two national writing contests was truly an incredible experience that I could not have ever had without the encouragement and guidance of my amazing mentor, Professor Kerri Stone. I am extremely honored to receive both awards. ”- said Mrs. Bitran.

In December 2015, Mrs. Bitran accepted an offer of publication for her article with the Women’s Rights Law Reporter at the Rutgers School of Law in Newark. The Women’s Rights Law Reporter was initially founded in 1970 by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is the oldest legal periodical to focus solely on women’s rights law.

Mrs. Bitran wrote her paper for her FIU Law seminar class on Employment Discrimination with Professor Kerri Stone and received the CALI Book Award for Excellence in the course. Mrs. Bitran’s paper highlights the problems associated with the lack of an effective reasonable pregnancy accommodation law at the federal level and proposes a solution. The Young v. United Parcel Service case which went up to the United States Supreme Court on this issue was Mrs. Bitran’s inspiration for the piece.

The article explains the problems associated with a lack of reasonable pregnancy accommodations and the shortcomings of the federal laws currently in place such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. After pointing out how denying reasonable pregnancy accommodations adversely affects the workforce as a whole, the article examines the strides that states have taken via state legislation to reasonably accommodate pregnancy. The article combines the best of the different state laws on pregnancy accommodation and crafts proposed federal legislation on pregnancy accommodation in the workforce. It supports its thesis of reasonably accommodating pregnancy via federal legislation with medical research, social science studies, international comparative data, and the legislative intent behind the current federal statutes. The paper’s proposed legislation, which includes an anti-retaliation clause and an undue burden factor test, aims to strike a balance between the interests of both employers and employees.

“I am so incredibly proud of all that Deedee has accomplished and so proud to have worked with her!”-said Professor Kerri Stone.