Today, leading national work-family justice organization A Better Balance released a new report, “Winning The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act,” detailing the inside story on the decade-long movement for passage of this groundbreaking new civil rights law and imparting lessons learned for fellow advocates, grassroots organizers, lawmakers, congressional staff, and the public seeking to advance progressive workplace rights.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which passed at the end of 2022 in the omnibus spending package and goes into effect on June 27th, requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to allow pregnant and postpartum workers to continue working while protecting their health, and is the most significant civil rights victory our country has seen in decades.
“The passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will truly change the health and economic trajectory for millions of women and families, and its significance as a political victory should be regarded as a roadmap for other campaigns for years to come. Policy wins to create more just workplaces and advance gender, racial, and economic justice in this country are possible,” said A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst. “We are so grateful for the hard work of dedicated legislative champions, the women who shared their stories of pregnancy discrimination and demanded better, and the hundreds of organizations and individuals who never gave up.”
Passing a major piece of civil rights legislation in a heavily partisan and divided Congress took over a decade of savvy advocacy, sustained pressure, and movement-building. In the report, A Better Balance shares key tactics and strategies that led to this victory in the final moments of the 2022 legislative session, including:
- Centering workers’ voices as experts and leaders on the devastating impact of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace
- Making progress in the states with the passage of over two dozen state pregnant workers fairness laws
- Gaining support from the business community, including with a robust and strategic partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Building a broad coalition and engaging diverse stakeholders, including labor, maternal health, women’s rights, civil rights, and faith groups
As the report highlights, laws are only meaningful if workers know their rights and can exercise them. The next challenge that lies ahead is to implement, enforce, and educate the public about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. A Better Balance’s free, confidential work-family legal helpline will be available to directly assist pregnant and postpartum workers with questions about their rights under the law.