On November 12, we hosted a panel with the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network at NYU Law, “Long Overdue: Eradicating Pregnancy Discrimination and Other Barriers to Workplace Equality.” ABB Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst was thrilled to join Congressman Jerrold Nadler—champion of the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—on the panel.
It’s clear that our current federal framework isn’t working to ensure equality and justice for working women and families. Forty-one years later, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would fulfill the promise of the PDA, helping end pregnancy discrimination once and for all. It’s time for Congress to take action.
Almost 41 years ago, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to guarantee equal opportunity for millions of working women. But as we pointed out in our recent report Long Overdue, too often, pregnant workers are still being treated as second-class citizens.
When Natasha Jackson asked her employer for a modest pregnancy accommodation to stay healthy and working, her employer instead forced her off the job as the highest ranking account executive at a Rent-A-Center. They pushed her onto unpaid leave and ultimately terminated her. Without steady income, she and her husband had to abandon their plan to buy a house and were left unable to support their growing family. But now, Natasha is advocating for change: this week, she headed to Capitol Hill to call on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, so women across the country no longer must face the impossible choice between their health and their economic security like she did. “I am asking you to stand up for women like me so we can have an equal opportunity to support our families while protecting our health,” Natasha said.
We speak with pregnant workers every day who face an impossible choice. What do I do if my doctor advises that I request a simple accommodation to maintain a healthy pregnancy, like a stool to sit on or assistance with heavy lifting, but my employer won’t provide them? Do I keep earning my paycheck when I need it most, or follow my doctor’s orders? The women featured here faced such a choice.
Starting June 27, Kentucky women who are working while pregnant, recovering from childbirth, or who need to express breastmilk at work are protected under the law from discrimination. Kentucky law now gives workers an explicit right to reasonable pregnancy accommodations at work, so they can stay healthy and safe while continuing to earn a paycheck to support their family.
Today, after years of hard work from advocates, the Maine legislature passed the nation’s 27th law guaranteeing pregnant workers the clear right to reasonable accommodations when needed to keep them safe and on the job. The bill would make it illegal for Maine employers to discriminate against pregnant workers by denying them reasonable accommodations, if they can make those accommodations without undue hardship.
On the heels of the release of A Better Balance’s new report “Long Overdue,” U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-W.A.), Lucy McBath (D-G.A.), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) today introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).
Our new policy brief--State of Our State: Women in the Workforce, released jointly with nonpartisan think tank ThinkTennessee--highlights the systemic barriers in Tennessee that prevent women, especially women of color and mothers, from achieving economic security.
In time for Mother’s Day, A Better Balance released a new report, “Long Overdue,” detailing the numerous ways pregnant workers are still routinely jeopardizing their health—and economic security—when denied medically necessary reasonable accommodations.