Pregnant Workers Win Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace

Statement of Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

"Today’s Senate passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act marks a historic moment in the movement to advance gender and racial equity in our nation. For far too long, pregnant workers have gone without the critical protections many people need to maintain a healthy pregnancy: protections like the ability to take bathroom breaks during a shift, sit down while working a cash register, or pause to take a drink of water to stay hydrated.

"At last, these workers have the legal tools to push back. Once the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is signed into law, millions of workers will have a legal right to request these kinds of small accommodations to keep themselves and their pregnancy healthy without the risk of losing their jobs.

"We applaud Senators Casey, Cassidy, Murray, and Burr; Representatives Nadler, Katko, McBath, Herrera Beutler, and Scott; and Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer — along with their staff — who, because of their collective work across party lines, helped ensure the final passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

"The National Partnership has a long history of fighting for the rights of pregnant workers, especially pregnant women, who too often are denied opportunities or treated unfairly because they are or might become pregnant. When the National Partnership led the fight to pass the Pregnancy Discrimination Act back in 1978, our goal was to help stamp out the discrimination against pregnant workers that often pushed women out of the workforce. Now, more than 40 years later, this fight continues — and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act marks another major step toward ensuring that pregnant workers have a fair chance to be full participants in the workforce.

"We are grateful to all of the organizations and activists, including pregnant workers themselves, who fought so hard for this landmark victory. The National Partnership will continue to advocate for all pregnant workers because we believe that no matter the size of your company or the religious beliefs of your employer — everyone deserves the right to have a healthy pregnancy while working to provide for their family. We look forward to celebrating when President Biden signs the final Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law."

# # #

About the National Partnership

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

Media Contact

Amaya Smith
(202) 986 2600
Email me
Back

Search the News Room