Today, the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act reached a historic milestone with bipartisan approval by the House Committee on Education and Labor. This news comes on the heels of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's official endorsement of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act yesterday. The bill will likely now proceed to the House floor for a vote.
Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, recognizing that this commonsense legislation is a win-win for the health and economic security of families as well as businesses. We joined with our partners and the U.S. Chamber in a joint letter announcing their endorsement, calling the PWFA “a balanced approach to ensuring that pregnant employees have the maximum opportunity to stay in the workplace, which is critical to the economic security of America’s women and families.” The letter states that the PWFA will remedy extensive confusion, providing businesses with clarity regarding their obligations to accommodate pregnant workers.
As 2020 ushers in a new decade, it brings with it many changes to paid family and medical leave laws throughout the U.S.—a cause for celebration for workers and their families. Washington State’s paid family and medical leave program officially went live on January 1. Workers can now receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for medical leave or family leave, up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period. Nearly all employees in the state are covered, including both public and private sector workers, and self-employed workers can opt in to coverage.
Now is a critical moment to show your support for pregnant workers. We’ll be in D.C. on Tuesday as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act heads into a crucial next phase—with the committee debating the bill and deciding whether to report it to a floor vote. Will you get in touch with your Representative today and ask that they sign on to co-sponsor the PWFA?
Since 2015, we've worked closely with advocates and lawmakers to push for a comprehensive paid family & medical leave program in Tennessee. On Wednesday, we joined State Representative Gloria Johnson in Knoxville to announce the Tennessee Family Insurance Act, a bill to grant paid family and medical leave to all workers in the state. Under this proposal, employees would contribute a small amount each month to a paid family and medical leave insurance fund.
The PUMP Act will strengthen the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law, extending the law’s protections to 9 million employees who are currently uncovered due to the law’s inclusion in the Fair Labor Standards Act, including nurses, teachers, and software engineers. The PUMP Act will also provide employers some additional clarity about employees who need to take breaks to express breastmilk for their babies.
With the holiday season underway and Christmas and Hanukkah around the corner, shopping for gifts and spending time with loved ones is top of mind for many. Unfortunately, as we’ve been hearing from our helpline callers, this time of year comes with increased hardship for many, especially for low-wage workers.
In an alarming development for workers’ rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted this week to rescind its longstanding position that forced arbitration clashes with our nation’s civil rights laws. Forced arbitration—the practice of employers forcing employees to sign away their right to take their claims to court—allows corporations to get away with violating their workers' rights.