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Pregnant Workers Make Up a Small Share of the Workforce and Can Be Readily Accommodated: A State-By-State Analysis

Pregnant workers in physically demanding jobs are often terminated, forced to quit, or involuntarily placed on unpaid “medical” leave because they ask for simple, reasonable, and temporary accommodations during their pregnancy such as avoiding heavy lifting or a stool to sit on. Instead of honoring these requests, many employers jeopardize the health of women and their pregnancies by making pregnant workers choose between continuing to work under unsafe conditions or losing their paycheck.  This fact sheet details the actual numbers of pregnant workers in the workforce, a subset of which may require accommodations at some point during their pregnancies.  Providing reasonable accommodations for the pressing needs of this small share of workers will not significantly burden employers, but will in fact produce important benefits in the form of employee retention and increased morale.