National Women's Law Center Backs Bill Preventing Pregnant Workers from Being Forced Out of their Jobs
(Washington, D.C.) Today Senators Casey and Shaheen will introduce the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which would require employers to provide reasonable job modifications when they are necessary to allow pregnant women to continue working. A companion bill was introduced in the House in May and now has more than 100 cosponsors.
The following is a statement by NWLC Vice President and General Counsel Emily Martin:
“Women make up almost half of the workforce, and yet all too often they face impossible choices: protect their jobs or their health during pregnancy. The stories of pregnant women who were denied small adjustments in the workplace defy logic. A retail worker in Kansas was fired because she carried a water bottle to stay hydrated. An activity director at an Indiana nursing home was terminated because she required help with a physically strenuous aspect of her job to prevent having another miscarriage. A train conductor in Mississippi was forced out on unpaid leave because she had a lifting restriction and was denied light duty. A retail worker in Indiana suffered pregnancy complications when she was denied light duty; she was fired.
“The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act simply would require employers to extend to their pregnant employees the accommodations they already provide workers with disabilities. If employers make these reasonable adjustments, pregnant workers could work longer under safer conditions and continue to provide for their families. And employers would benefit by retaining their trained workforce and avoiding the costs of high turnover. The Senate should support this win-win proposition for working women and businesses.”
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Maria Patrick, mpatrick [at] nwlc.org
Rachel Perrone, rperrone [at] nwlc.org
National Women's Law Center
11 Dupont Circle, NW, # 800
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 588-5180
Fax: (202) 588-5185