Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Would Promote the “Equality America’s Mothers and Families Need and Deserve” Says Women’s Leader
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — May 14, 2013 —
"Just two days after Mother’s Day, members of Congress are introducing a bill that would help combat a pernicious form of discrimination experienced by too many expecting mothers who hold jobs. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
is badly needed and should be a top priority for lawmakers who support fair treatment for pregnant workers and financial stability for families.
More than three in five pregnant women in the United States (62 percent
) are in the labor force and their incomes are critical to their families’ economic security, especially when a new child is on the way. Yet, too often, pregnant women are forced out of jobs or denied minor job modifications even though employers routinely make similar modifications for male employees who have been injured, had heart attacks or are temporarily impaired. Nearly 35 years since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act banned discrimination based on pregnancy, this is unacceptable.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would promote the equality pregnant workers and their families need and deserve. By ensuring the same workplace protections for women with pregnancy-related limitations as the protections already in place for workers with similar limitations, it would prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace and help ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women who want to continue working.
In a country that claims to value family and fairness, having a baby should not mean losing a job and jeopardizing family financial stability. We thank Senators Robert Casey (D - Penn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D - N.H.) and Representatives Jerry Nadler (D - N.Y.), Carolyn Maloney (D - N.Y.), Jackie Speier (D - Calif.), Susan Davis (D - Calif.) and George Miller (D - Calif.) for championing this bill. We call on all members of Congress to prioritize fair treatment of pregnant workers by supporting it.”
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.