WASHINGTON, D.C. — With Mother’s Day in mind, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, last week called for passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and prevent employers from forcing women out on leave when a reasonable accommodation would allow them to continue working.
The bill also bars employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Casey said women make up nearly half of the labor force, and three-quarters of women entering the workforce will be pregnant and employed at some point in their careers.
Pregnant workers face discrimination in the workplace every day, Casey said, adding that the bill “will finally extend fairness to pregnant workers so that they can continue to contribute to a productive economy while progressing through pregnancy in good health.”
Currently, pregnant working women around the country are being denied simple adjustments — permission to use a stool while working a cash register, to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated or temporary reassignment to lighter duty tasks — that would keep them working and supporting their families while maintaining healthy pregnancies. The legislation will close legal loopholes and ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job, Casey said.