The following is a statement from A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst:
The Senate is going home without having passed the urgently-needed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, despite having the votes to do so and a 90% approval rating.
October marks the anniversary of the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and yet today, forty-four years later, two-thirds of pregnant workers are still losing their pregnancy discrimination cases in court due to gaps in the law, as exemplified by a recent 7th Circuit ruling. Workers like Denizer Carter, a former grocery store worker, were hailed as heroes during the pandemic and then fired for asking for modest workplace accommodations during their pregnancies and immediately after childbirth.
It is time for Leader Schumer to stop sidelining women and mothers, especially moms of color, by refusing to commit to immediate passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This past May, Schumer linked the importance of a woman’s right to choose with the need to protect women at work:
“As we all continue reckoning with the implications of the Supreme Court’s horrible decision, the one that seems to be coming down the pike, the Senate must also support the needs of pregnant women facing discrimination in the workplace.”
Where is his urgency to protect women now, especially as new CDC data shows 4 out of 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable?
Where is his urgency now to ensure pregnant women and moms don’t face hunger and homelessness as they welcome a new baby into the world?
Senate Majority Leader Schumer: you have a moral obligation to act before it’s too late. There are no excuses. I implore you today to publicly commit to bring the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote as soon as the Senate returns in November to deliver justice and equality for the most vulnerable women and families in America.