While federal progress has stalled since the FMLA, states and cities have come up with innovative policies for filling in the gaps that persist. And we won’t stop fighting until all workers have a real right to the leave they need when they need it the most.
Today, the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act reached a historic milestone with bipartisan approval by the House Committee on Education and Labor. This news comes on the heels of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s official endorsement of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act yesterday. The bill will likely now proceed to the House floor for a vote.
According to a joint letter of support for the bill from the U.S. Chamber, A Better Balance, and partners, “With the manager’s amendment, this is a strong bill and a reminder that through good faith negotiations, legislative solutions to important questions and problems can be found. We believe strongly that the manager’s amendment deserves to be approved with no changes.”
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a vital measure that will ensure pregnant workers can stay healthy and on the job. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would provide essential clarity that an employer must provide temporary job accommodations to pregnant workers so long as it is not an undue hardship on the employer. As a result, the bill benefits employees and employers alike.
“Pregnant workers face rampant discrimination and profound economic hardship, when often all they need are modest workplace accommodations to stay healthy and on the job. We are thrilled to see the bill progress in a bipartisan manner in Congress and look forward to a strong vote on the House floor. We were also proud to work closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to ensure pregnant workers are guaranteed strong protections and businesses have maximum clarity as to their obligations. The bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is long overdue, and today marks an exciting step forward towards passing this critical bill,” said A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst.
About A Better Balance: A Better Balance is a national legal advocacy organization advancing justice for women, caregivers, and families in the workplace, and is responsible for launching the pregnant workers fairness movement. We have been a leader in drafting and advancing the federal PWFA and in moving bipartisan state pregnancy accommodations bills. In May, A Better Balance published a report finding that two thirds of women have lost their pregnancy accommodation claims since 2015 under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and has directly supported hundreds of women who have suffered devastating consequences due to being denied the reasonable pregnancy accommodations they needed.