National Partnership for Women & Families

Governor Christie Should Act Quickly to Promote Basic Equality for Pregnant Workers, Says Women’s Leader

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 8, 2014 —

“It is great news that the New Jersey legislature passed a bill to combat pregnancy discrimination, which continues to harm pregnant workers and their families. New Jersey’s legislation would promote basic equality and strengthen the health and economic security of the state’s pregnant workers and their families, without unduly burdening employers. Governor Christie should act quickly to make this common sense measure law.

Despite federal protections provided by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, too often pregnant workers are still forced into unpaid leave or out of their jobs because employers do not make temporary, reasonable accommodations – such as allowing a pregnant worker to carry a water bottle or sit while providing customer service. In many cases, these simple accommodations would allow pregnant workers to stay on the job. New Jersey’s bill (S-2995/A-4486) would ensure that pregnant women receive the same reasonable workplace accommodations available to all workers with temporary physical limitations.

In 2012, more than 74,000 job-holding women in New Jersey were pregnant and providing critical income for their families. This bill would provide long overdue health and financial protection for pregnant workers, their families and those who rely on their wages and well-being. In short, this bill would help to make New Jersey a more fair and family friendly state. Governor Christie should recognize what is at stake and sign it into law right away.”

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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