We speak with pregnant workers every day who face an impossible choice. What do I do if my doctor advises that I request a simple accommodation to maintain a healthy pregnancy, like a stool to sit on or assistance with heavy lifting, but my employer won’t provide them? Do I keep earning my paycheck when I need it most, or follow my doctor’s orders? The women featured here faced such a choice.
These women's stories reveal the devastating consequences that are unfolding around the country because the U.S. lacks an explicit statutory right to pregnancy accommodations.
Over the weekend, The New York Times published a powerful article featuring our client in Tennessee, Theresa Gonzales. Theresa, an admissions counselor and the sole breadwinner of her family who was about to become a first-time mother, told her employer, South College, she hoped to take six weeks of unpaid leave then return to her job. Instead, she was fired just days after giving birth because of a discriminatory policy only allowing a maximum of five days off from work. As we told the Times, Theresa’s story is outrageously common.
Starting June 27, Kentucky women who are working while pregnant, recovering from childbirth, or who need to express breastmilk at work are protected under the law from discrimination. Kentucky law now gives workers an explicit right to reasonable pregnancy accommodations at work, so they can stay healthy and safe while continuing to earn a paycheck to support their family.
Today, after years of hard work from advocates, the Maine legislature passed the nation’s 27th law guaranteeing pregnant workers the clear right to reasonable accommodations when needed to keep them safe and on the job.The bill would make it illegal for Maine employers to discriminate against pregnant workers by denying them reasonable accommodations, if they can make those accommodations without undue hardship.
June 10th is Moms’ Equal Pay Day—which means it’s time to remember that mothers still are systemically penalized throughout their careers for their choice to have children. On average, mothers earn 5–6 percent less than non-mothers—a number that climbs with each additional child they have.
On the heels of the release of A Better Balance’s new report “Long Overdue,” U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-W.A.), Lucy McBath (D-G.A.), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) today introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).
In time for Mother’s Day, A Better Balance released a new report, “Long Overdue,” detailing the numerous ways pregnant workers are still routinely jeopardizing their health—and economic security—when denied medically necessary reasonable accommodations.