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PRESS RELEASE: New Report Shows How Federal Law Is Failing Pregnant Workers During & Beyond Pandemic

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Today, A Better Balance released a new Issue Brief, “​​The Pandemic & the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act,” detailing the need for a federal law to close glaring gaps in our legal framework and guarantee pregnant workers a right to the reasonable accommodations they need to stay healthy and attached to the workforce, especially amidst a worsening ‘she-session’ with women leaving the workforce in the millions. Reports that paid family and medical leave may be cut from Build Back Better only underscore the need for the Senate to do all that they can to support pregnant and parenting workers immediately, including by passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

In a recent analysis from A Better Balance’s updated Long Overdue report, the national legal advocacy organization found: 

  • Current federal law is failing pregnant workers. In 2021, approximately 2/3 of workers are still losing their Pregnancy Discrimination Act accommodations cases under the current legal framework.
  • Pregnant workers continue to be forced off the job when they need simple accommodations to keep working.
  • Pregnancy accommodations help keep women attached to the workforce and healthy during pregnancy and the post-partum period.

“When I requested an accommodation to avoid exposing myself to COVID-19, my boss told me I was ‘no good to them pregnant.’ I was devastated, and I ultimately ended up leaving my job and taking a significant pay cut,” says Jennfer, a Texas-based family nurse practitioner. “I know I speak for moms out there when I say we are exhausted. A pregnant woman is valuable. We’re valuable to the country, we’re valuable to the workforce, and it’s time we start getting treated that way.” 

“Nearly 43 years after passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it’s unacceptable and unjust that pregnant workers are still being pushed out of the workforce due to harmful gaps in our nation’s civil rights laws. In the midst of a global pandemic that has forced millions of women out of work, passing legislation to protect the health and economic security of pregnant workers and new mothers across the country is more urgent than ever,” says A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst. 

“​​The Pandemic & the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” details stories, statistics, and analysis that make a comprehensive case for how current federal law is failing pregnant workers and why the time is now for Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Read the full brief here

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