National Partnership for Women & Families

Bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is an ‘Easy, Reasonable Way for This Congress to Actually Help Women and Families,’ Ness Says

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — May 11, 2017 —

“The announcement that a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress are reintroducing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act today, in advance of Mother’s Day, is encouraging for all women and families. In a country that banned pregnancy discrimination nearly four decades ago, and one that claims to value both work and family, it is shocking that pregnant women are still forced out of their jobs and denied the minor job modifications they need to continue working. This long overdue bill would combat this pernicious and damaging form of discrimination.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is an easy, reasonable way for this Congress to actually help women and families, at a time when partisanship and relentless attacks on women’s health and economic security make real progress seem impossible. Elected officials in 19 states and five cities have already done so by passing laws that require employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations, often with bipartisan or unanimous support. And overwhelmingly across party lines, 95 percent of Americans say it is reasonable for employers to provide such accommodations.

Specifically, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would clarify for workers and employers that women with pregnancy-related limitations are entitled to the same reasonable accommodations – such as carrying a water bottle or needing to sit instead of stand – that employers already provide other workers with similar physical limitations. The bill would prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace at a critical time and help ensure that pregnant women who want to continue working are able to get the minor job modifications they need to do so.

We commend Senators Casey (D – Penn.), Heller (R – Nev.) and Shaheen (D – N.H.) and Representatives Nadler (D – N.Y.) and Coffman (R – Colo.) for reintroducing this legislation today. There should be nothing controversial or partisan about this proposal. Every member of Congress who believes that pregnancy discrimination should be a thing of the past and recognizes the toll it continues to take on the country’s mothers, women and all families should support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and commit to passing it this year.”

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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