Jul 9, 2018

A curator said her job offer from MoMA PS1 was rescinded after she gave birth.

Nikki Columbus, 43, said an offer to be curator of performance was pulled by the institution once it became clear she had just given birth, according to the New York Times. Ms. Columbus said she was offered the role at MoMA PS1 in August 2017 when she was visibly pregnant, but during the process of negotiations about scheduling and salary, it was abruptly rescinded. In correspondence reviewed by the Times, a museum official told Ms. Columbus the job offer was “no longer active” after she had requested a schedule that would allow her to work from home and part-time in September as she transitioned into the new role and recovered from having recently given birth.
The museum would not comment on personnel matters but released a statement saying “MoMA PS1 is committed to a work environment in which all applicants and employees are treated with respect and dignity.” Ms. Columbus filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, “asserting the museum discriminated against her in violation of the city’s laws on caregivers, pregnancy and women’s rights,” according to the Times. Pregnancy discrimination is a civil rights violation but is nonetheless common, activists and attorneys say.