As the way we work continues to evolve, the number of people working in ways that do not fit within traditional employer/employee frameworks is likely to grow. Yet our laws have not caught up. As the way we work continues to evolve, the number of people working in ways that do not fit within traditional employer/employee frameworks is likely to grow. Yet our laws have not caught up. Though legislation has been introduced to extend additional coverage, the leading federal employment antidiscrimination law, Title VII, does not apply to independent contractors.
In the midst of COVID-19, pregnant workers and new moms, especially those on the front lines or returning to workplaces as states re-open — deserve more than our gratitude this Mother’s Day. They deserve better laws and policies, and, importantly, they need to feel empowered to advocate for their needs and rights.
That’s why, day in and day out, we are supporting countless pregnant women and new moms facing uncertainty and fear as the pandemic rages by listening, taking action, and empowering workers to know their rights.
We are listening. Through our helpline, we’re helping workers like Tamika*, a nurse in her third trimester, who called us because she has underlying health conditions and her doctor recommended she take certain precautions at work due to COVID-19 but whose boss refused to work with her to come up with a solution to stay safe and working. Tamika has rights, and we are here to help her self-advocate for those rights.
We are taking action. We’re leading efforts to pass and enforce policies that ensure no expecting or new moms are forced to choose between their health or caregiving needs and their economic security, including policies advancing emergency and permanent paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave, pregnancy and lactation accommodations, and fair scheduling.
We are empowering workers. Knowledge is power. Our COVID-19 resource hub is here to answer questions we’re hearing from workers about their rights to accommodation, leave, and protections from discrimination.
Empower the expecting and new moms in your life, and spread the word about our COVID-19 resource hub!