Halloween has been a little scarier this year, with Michael Myers making yet another comeback. But he's only back for a short time, thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis' character who I hear will finally take him out – with some help – for good!
I'm sure I'm not the only mom who's at least a little scared of Michael Myers. But he's fictional and we can turn him off or choose not to watch. In real life, many moms and moms-to-be have something much more scary to worry about: losing their jobs and livelihoods simply because they're pregnant.
In honor of Halloween – and thanks to our newly released report on pregnancy discrimination – here are a few #ScaryStats on the issue:
- Nearly 3 million women work while pregnant each year. Without a national law, many of those women are at risk of losing their jobs because their employers don't provide basic accommodations, like being able to sit instead of stand.
- In addition to there being no national law, 20 states across the U.S. lack any statewide laws that guarantee pregnant workers a right to reasonable pregnancy accommodations.
- If the idea of 20 states doesn't sound like a lot, how about the one million pregnant workers each year who are vulnerable to losing their jobs, livelihoods, and futures – simply because they're pregnant and can't be sure they can get simple accommodations to protect their health at work.
It's scary enough to have a baby under the best circumstances, but it's even scarier when you think about the state of maternal health care in this country. And pregnant workers are still considered a problem to many employers. They're losing their jobs – or worse, their babies – because the companies they work for are failing to protect them from discrimination.
Recently, a group of Walmart employees requested temporary light duty during their pregnancies – and lost that fight in court, even though workers who were on disability were granted the accommodation.
A Reddit poster shared that they fired an employee because the worker took time off after having a baby.
A woman working at Walgreens suffered a miscarriage after her manager refused to let her leave when she discovered she was spotting blood. That same manager said she had “already asked for too many accommodations.”
And did I mention that today is the 44th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
Pregnant people aren't asking for much – they just want to be able to keep a water bottle nearby or use a chair to take a break from standing for hours during a shift. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) would solve this problem and provide these and other basic (key word, basic) accommodations. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act comprehensively addresses the maternal health crisis by making critical investments in health access and promoting innovative models of maternity care.
If you think about it, aren't these requests – plenty of water, rest, good prenatal care – the standards for a healthy pregnancy anyway?
Want to help? The House of Representatives has already passed PWFA. Now, it's the Senate's turn. Tell them today that you want to see them pass the law.Back