Originally published: July 20, 2016
ALEJANDRA DUARTE was 19 weeks pregnant when she lost her baby. At the time, she was working 40 hours a week at a Central Massachusetts laundry facility, packing and pushing around large and heavy carts. When she found out she was pregnant, Duarte asked her supervisor to ease her load at work or move her to lighter duty. But instead, she was given more hours – 50 per week, and she had to take it or leave it. After working 10 hours on a Sunday, she felt a sharp pain in her belly. She had a miscarriage a few days after.
“I believe I lost my baby because I couldn’t afford to stop working. I even had to leave my baby at the hospital because I didn’t have $2,000 to bury him,” says Duarte. “I went back to work a week later because I still couldn’t afford to lose my wages.”