Q: Lieutenant Govenor, what do you think of the policy that Reed defended
with the State Police that [barred] pregnant women from doing a lot of
Kerry Healey: Well, I think
that I'll let Reed talk about that particular policy. But
what I can tell you is that I have no doubt at all that women can trust
Reed Hillman to fight for their rights, to work for victims' rights of
all kinds for all people in this Commonwealth. He wouldn't be standing
here with me today if I didn't believe that.
Q: But do you support that policy?
Healey: That policy has been changed. And I think that it has been modernized
in a way that made sense. At the time, the State Police had a policy
that their top doctor, the surgeon--surgeon general? is that what you
call it?--yes, their surgeon general was the person to make the
determination when a pregnant individual would go out on partial
disability. Now the person can go to their own doctor and have that
determined. And I think that's a much more rational policy, and I will
let Reed add to that.
Hillman: The State Oolice had a policy of constant rewriting of our
policies [inaudible], which is a very large volume, one of which is the
modified leave policy. As colonel, it was my job to sign off on the
work that's been done by staff and human resources and legal. And the
temporary modified leave that was put in place initially was one that a
small number of females found did not work for them. They made a
complaint. The--the end result was that we changed that policy, and the
policy that i signed in 1998, which is still in place today, is a
national model, protects females who are pregnant, and allows they and
their physician to make the determination.
Q: But you defended the old policy at the time.
Hillman: The old policy at the time was developed by the people who are
in house, in consultation with gynecologists and--obstetricians! Thank
you. Developed with input from an obstetrician who was an expert in the
area. The big difference is that the old policy said it was the State
Police surgeon, a contract employee of the State Police, who made that
determination. The new policy allows the trooper and her physician to
make that decision.
Q: Do you regret making that decision at the time?
Hillman: At the time, we thought we made the right decision.
Q: No regrets about making that decision now?
Hillman: Of course there's a regret. If I could live my life again I would do many things differently, and that would be one.
Q: Were you involved in writing that policy? Or was it at the staff level, and you signed off on it?
Hillman: The staffers in research and development and human resources
[inaudible], almost all of whom were female, did a nationwide search to
see, How do [we] have a temporary modified leave that protects the
members of the Sate Police and the public we serve. And the policy
they developed was signed off by me, no question about it. It applied
to men and women; it said the same thing for everybody. It was a
gender-neutral policy which stated the department's physician, for any
temporary physical disability--including pregnancy--he would make the
decision. As i said, the new policy that I signed in 1998, we left the
decision up to the officer and her physician.