Today, 20 Georgia organizations sent a letter to Senators Warnock and Ossoff thanking them for their leadership on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Senate.
The advocates point out Georgia’s high maternal mortality rate, as well as the maternal health gap for Black women and other pregnant people in particular, and highlights the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would enable employees to safely ask for and receive accommodations for limitations arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, as a solution to these disparities, particularly for Black women in low-wage, physically demanding jobs.
The letter urges the Georgia Senators to call upon Senate leadership to bring the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote, writing, “We urge you to reaffirm Georgia’s commitment to promoting healthy mothers and babies and strengthening economic growth by calling on Senate leadership to bring the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote in the Senate immediately.”
“Moms, birthers, and infants are critical identifiers of the health and well-being of our State and leaders across Georgia have committed themselves to improving the concerningly high maternal and infant mortality rates that have faced families. This has only been exacerbated by COVID-19 and we continue to see disproportionately poor outcomes for people who have lower socioeconomic statuses, individuals living in rural Georgia, as well as for racialized Black people and other racial minorities. With the majority of pregnancy associated death happening during the postpartum period, it is incredibly important that we ensure appropriate workplace accommodations and paid leave policies that allow birthers to not only survive but thrive as they welcome a new member to their family.” shared Kyesha Lindberg, Executive Director of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia.
“The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act must be prioritized to address the Black maternal health crisis and the economic security of women and families. It would improve working conditions for pregnant and postpartum workers across this country, especially in the state of Georgia where we hear from workers who tragically have been forced to choose between taking care of their own health or risk losing their jobs,” said Kameron Dawson, A Better Balance Staff Attorney.
“Georgia workers deserve to be able to continue to provide for their families while also maintaining healthy pregnancies. More frequent breaks, schedule changes, and reassignment of hazardous tasks are often denied to pregnant and postpartum workers, leading to severe consequences for their health and financial security. We need the PWFA to ensure that Georgia families can thrive.” said Mica Whitfied, State Director of 9to5 GA.
“As champions of women and families, we ask Senators Warnock and Ossoff to urge the senate to act quickly,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia. “In Georgia and other states, now more than ever, pregnant workers need protections from discrimination to help ensure family economic stability.”