Starting October 1, 2020, Tennesseans who are working while pregnant, recovering from childbirth, or who need to express breastmilk at work are protected under the law from discrimination. Tennessee 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. Tennessee joins 29 other states in mandating fairness for pregnant workers.
There are so many important questions that Presidential debate moderators should ask candidates in 2020. Chief among them must be questions centered on how to advance justice so workers can care for themselves and their loved ones, without jeopardizing their economic security. Chris Wallace, the moderator for the first Presidential Debate on September 29th, has already announced several topics including COVID-19, the economy, the Supreme Court, and race relations in America. Many of these issues directly intersect with the needs of working families and their economic security—and we urge prioritizing the following 5 key questions.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA - H.R. 2694) in a strong bipartisan vote. The PWFA would provide an explicit right for pregnant workers to request reasonable accommodations to stay healthy and safe in the workplace, unless it would constitute an undue hardship on the employer.
Big news: Following almost nine years of advocacy, this Thursday, the House will vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—a long overdue bill to guarantee pregnant workers a right to reasonable, medically-necessary accommodations and prevent employers from pushing pregnant workers off the job. With limited guidance on the health risks of COVID-19 on pregnancy and with more and more pregnant workers desperately needing income, it’s more important than ever that pregnant workers can stay healthy and working during the pandemic and beyond. Will you take action today? Tell your legislators that no one should have to choose between their job and a healthy pregnancy—not during a pandemic, not ever.
If you're expecting a baby, you may be eligible for a workplace accommodation that is a temporary adjustment to your current job or work environment that allows you to maintain a safe and healthy pregnancy. This Labor Day, we're excited to launch this new resource with March of Dimes to give you the information you need. Share it with an expecting parent in your life!
The case is now before the New Jersey Supreme Court, which will interpret the NJPWFA for the first time. It is crucially important that the Supreme Court take this opportunity to affirm the central purpose of the NJPWFA: to ensure that pregnant workers in need of accommodations are not penalized or pushed out of a job.
Mothers have long faced economic inequality in the United States. Early June marked Moms’ Equal Pay Day, symbolizing how long it took moms to earn what dads earned in 2019. U.S. Census data from 2019 indicated that women working full time in the U.S. earned $0.82 for every dollar that men made in their jobs. However, mothers make just $0.70 for every dollar white, non-Hispanic fathers make. The pandemic has only intensified the problem, as mothers are being forced to choose between their jobs and their caregiving responsibilities.
Today, after years of advocacy, Tennessee becomes the 30th state in the country to provide stronger legal protections for pregnant workers. A Better Balance has been proud to lead the fight on the ground in Tennessee to enact the Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act over the past six years, working closely with a strong coalition of local and state partners as well as providing drafting and legal support.
Especially as governments lift stay at home orders, it is important for workers to know their rights. We have released a series of videos from our legal experts to help workers understand their rights when affected by COVID-19, so they will be empowered to exercise them. Please join us in sharing these videos with the hashtag #JusticeForWorkers.
Pregnant workers have rights during this pandemic. Through our free legal helpline, we've been hearing from pregnant workers across the country who have questions about their legal rights during this uncertain time. We spoke with the New York Times about the laws pregnant workers need to know. Read an excerpt below, and the full article by reporter Jessica Grose here.