REPORT: Long Overdue – June 2021 Update

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a Critical Measure to Remove Barriers to Women’s Workplace Participation and Promote Healthy Pregnancies

UPDATE: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been signed into law and will go into effect on June 27th, 2023. Learn more here.

PDF of Full June 2021 Report Here

Original May 2019 Long Overdue Report Here

Executive Summary

For over a decade, A Better Balance has been leading the movement to remedy the second-class treatment facing pregnant workers, especially women of color in low- wage jobs, and to lift up the voices of the workers who have been forced to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. Those injustices have come into sharper relief with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and millions of women forced out of the workplace due to pregnancy and caregiving needs, or forced to put their health at risk as essential workers. The time to level the playing field and ensure pregnant workers can fully participate in the workforce is now. To do that, Congress must pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

In the two years since we published Long Overdue, which laid out the critical need for the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the legislation has made significant progress. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passed the House of Representatives twice, first in September 2020 and again in May 2021, with overwhelming bipartisan support, including the support of both Democratic and Republican House leadership. Major business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Society for Human Resources Management, the National Restaurant Association, and others are also calling for the bill’s passage because of the clarity it provides employers and the critical role it will play in keeping pregnant workers healthy and attached to the workforce. Yet, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is still not law and because of that, pregnant workers are still being forced out of work or onto unpaid leave or forced to risk their health because of gaps in our nation’s laws. Congress must pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law without delay and send it to the President’s desk.



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