House passes bill to end discrimination against pregnant workers
The U.S. House voted 315-101 on Friday to pass Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065), which would ensure that pregnant workers are not forced out of their jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable accommodations that would allow them to continue working while maintaining healthy pregnancies.
Similar legislation passed the House last year but died in the U.S. Senate.
“Women should never have to choose between starting a family and keeping a job,” Second District Congresswoman Elaine Luria said. “Women now make up more than half the American workforce and are the primary earners in almost two-thirds of households. This bipartisan legislation will help keep women in the workforce while protecting working moms from unnecessary risk during pregnancy.”
The legislation prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers on the job by providing and guaranteeing reasonable and needed accommodations, such as access to potable water, more frequent restroom breaks, temporary exemptions from lifting for pregnant women, women impacted by childbirth, or other related conditions.
Similar to the Americans for Disability Act, employers have found they are easily able to comply with these simple accommodations.
“Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth should be able to do their jobs and earn their pay,” Fourth District Congressman Donald McEachin said. “Reasonable accommodations to these normal conditions should be the expectation and the law. To not provide reasonable accommodation is prejudice against women. I am pleased to strongly support this legislation which supports women and their families.”