State and Local Campaigns for Pregnant Workers
No one should have to choose between her job and a healthy pregnancy. Local campaigns are sprouting up around the country to prevent this impossible choice, and A Better Balance is providing legal advice and advocacy support, including model bill language. To find out more or to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We assisted the following state campaigns during the 2018 legislative sessions:
A Better Balance assisted in drafting the Georgia Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, introduced this session. During a legislative hearing, the bill sponsor, Rep. Park Cannon, spoke about one of our clients, Whitney Tomlinson, a Walmart worker, during her presentation of the bill. We are working closely with partners to ensure the bill gets over the finish line next session.
A Better Balance supported local advocates’ and lawmakers’ efforts to pass the Iowa Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, introduced in February 2017.
In Indiana, we assisted local advocates in introducing the state’s first ever Pregnant Worker Fairness Act, introduced with bi-partisan support! We are continuing to support local advocates’ and lawmakers’ efforts as they look to re-introduce the bill next session.
In March 2019, the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act passed the state legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill was signed into law in April, making Kentucky the 25th state to guarantee pregnant workers a clear right to reasonable accommodations when needed. This victory was the result of six years of advocacy, during which A Better Balance worked closely with lawmakers to draft legislation, testified in support of the bill, and coordinated with a coalition of supporters on the ground to secure passage.
In 2014, our clients Officers Lyndi Trischler and Sam Riley were pushed off their jobs as police officers simply because they needed a reasonable accommodation to keep working. They were forced to litigate for nearly two and half years to get justice. Thanks to their bravery in speaking out and sharing their stories, the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act now ensures that no woman in the state will face the same difficult situation. The effective date of the law is June 27, 2019.
A bill that ABB worked on with our Oklahoma partners, including protections against discrimination for state employees related to pregnancy and childbirth, recently passed the Oklahoma Senate 31-8. A Better Balance is also supporting local advocates’ and lawmakers’ efforts to pass the Oklahoma Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would apply to private sector workers.
A Better Balance worked closely with local advocates to support passage of the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act and the bill passed with unanimous, bi-partisan support this May! South Carolina is now the 23rd state to grant explicit protections for pregnant workers in need of accommodations. A Better Balance’s Community Advocate Natasha Jackson, shared powerful testimony twice before the State Legislature about being pushed off the job while pregnant. Thanks to Natasha’s advocacy, the legislators understood just how much this law stood to affect women’s lives. We also testified in support of the bill in the State Legislature. Read Natasha’s testimony here and ABB testimony in support of the bill here.
A Better Balance is leading a campaign to pass a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the state. A 2018 New York Times cover story revealed that several workers in Memphis, TN, including our client Tasha Murrell, suffered miscarriages after being denied a temporary respite from heavy lifting at work. These tragic stories highlight the urgent need for a law that guarantees all Tennessee women a clear right to reasonable accommodations when needed to keep them healthy and safe at work. Tennessee’s bill gained bipartisan support in 2019, but more time was needed to establish a consensus among all stakeholders. We are now conducting outreach to strengthen the coalition working to pass this bill in Tennessee, thus laying the groundwork for a robust campaign in 2020.