FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2018
Contact: Rachel Sica, 212-430-5982, ext. 163, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK —The following statement can be attributed to Dina Bakst, Co-President and Co-Founder of A Better Balance, in response to today’s announcement by XPO Logistics that it will change its pregnancy accommodation and parental leave policies, and release of a letter signed by 97 members of Congress calling for hearings on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
“Following recent news reports on rampant pregnancy discrimination in American workplaces—including last month’s New York Times story featuring our client, Tasha Murrell, discussing her miscarriage after her employer, XPO Logistics, refused to accommodate her pregnancy—we are heartened by today’s developments. Not only has XPO Logistics announced that going forward it will work with pregnant employees who need accommodations to stay healthy and on the job but Congress is poised to move the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
“In today’s letter, spearheaded by Rep. Steve Cohen and Rep. Rosa DeLauro and signed by 97 members of Congress, lawmakers call for long-overdue hearings on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). Current federal law does not go far enough to protect pregnant workers. It is time for Congress to pass the PWFA, which would make it crystal clear: when a pregnant worker needs an accommodation, employers must work with them to ensure their health and ability to stay on the job.
“While XPO’s new pregnancy accommodation and paid parental leave policies appear to be positive steps, we will be taking a closer look and making sure that they are fully implemented. It shouldn’t have taken months of advocacy and public pressure by A Better Balance, our partners, and members of Congress to make this change happen. Likewise, this is only the beginning. State-by-state and company-by-company change are not enough. It is time for a federal fix; it is time for Congress to pass the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.”
For more than a decade, the legal team at A Better Balance has been on the front lines of fighting pregnancy discrimination across the country. A 2012, New York Times op-ed, “Pregnant and Pushed Out of a Job,” by Dina Bakst, sparked the original introduction of the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. In addition, A Better Balance has been instrumental in passing explicit protections for pregnant workers in more than 18 states, and it has filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of pregnant women whose employers have refused to provide modest accommodations to them so that they could stay healthy and on the job.
A Better Balance is a national legal nonprofit fighting to give American workers the time and flexibility they need to care for their families without risking their economic security. We are a leader in the movement to reshape laws and workplace practices to fit the needs of today’s labor force. www.abetterbalance.org