More Protection for Pregnant Women: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

New legislation was introduced to Congress to help protect pregnant employees still working. The “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act,” and will require employers to make fair accommodations for their expecting employees. The bill would ensure that pregnant women are not forced out of jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job accommodations that would allow them to continue working.

Accommodations are often needed by pregnant employees, who need to stay employed in order to provide for their growing family, but women have been finding it to be more difficult to continue working through their pregnancy. For example, being on your feet is straining and tiring for anyone, let alone for pregnant women. But only seven states, including California, provide seating for employees during shifts as an accommodation.

Moreover, some pregnant employees have even faced termination when employers found the women carrying water bottles during their shifts in order to stay hydrated or when they could no longer perform strenuous tasks like picking up heavy boxes. While it is apparent that these simple accommodations can easily be made by most companies, women still report being penalized in the workplace for making such requests. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would help to prevent pregnant women from unnecessarily being forced out of jobs or denied reasonable accommodations that would allow them to continue working.

There are two federal Acts to help pregnant women: the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, which establishes minimum paid maternity leave for new mothers. The Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act would extent to create a legal requirement for employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations.

As we previously have blogged, pregnancy discrimination is on the rise. The attorneys at the Harman Firm are aware of these trends and are ready to answer any of your pregnancy discrimination concerns, just contact us.