New AP Article Shows How the PWFA and A Better Balance are Helping Support Pregnant and Postpartum Workers

A new exclusive article in the Associated Press shares the stories of several of our helpline callers to show how the landmark Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has served as a lifeline for countless pregnant and postpartum workers this past year.
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A year after it went into effect on June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is giving pregnant and postpartum workers the lifeline they desperately need, as highlighted in an article published by the Associated Press. Their reporting puts a human face on the PWFA, shining a light on both the positive change created by this groundbreaking civil rights law and the ongoing fight to enforce and protect it. The article highlights the important role that A Better Balance played in helping these workers get accommodations that allowed them to keep their jobs by informing them about their legal rights. Our efforts to assist workers and spread awareness about the new law during the first year of enforcement are documented at more length in our new report, Pregnant and Finally Protected.

In the cases of our helpline callers Victoria Cornejo Barrera, Raquel Robinson, and Kirsten Terrill, whose stories are featured in the article and report, their experiences demonstrate how, with knowledge, resources, and support, pregnant and postpartum workers can use the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to safeguard their health while staying attached to the workforce and earning their income when they need it most. 

In a moving interview, Raquel shared the following with the Associated Press:

After her daughter was born in October 2022, Robinson was diagnosed with postpartum depression. She struggled to shower and leave her home. “Mentally, I just was not in a good place where I felt like I was good enough to be my daughter’s mom,” she said. “I couldn’t get her to stop crying.”

After her disability leave ended in July 2023, her therapist recommended she work from home to ease the transition and told her she was entitled to such an accommodation under the new law. But her company resisted her request for more than a month. During one excruciating meeting, she realized that the company had shared her personal information, including her struggles with hygiene, with her male manager, only to insist that nothing she described impeded her from doing her job at the office.

“I’m literally in tears thinking about it,” she said. “I’m so embarrassed.”

Robinson reached out to A Better Balance for help and the company relented. She is preparing to return to the office this week after several months of working from home.

Knowledge is power, but often, the workers we speak with are unaware that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act exists. In order to ensure the promise of the PWFA is fully realized, we must continue to prioritize education, enforcement, and legal defense of this groundbreaking law and accompanying regulations. 
If you believe that your right to accommodations at work is being violated, you can contact our freeand confidential legal helpline using our online form or call 1-833-NEED-ABB (1-833-633-3222).

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