Top 10 Reasons Why Protecting Pregnant Workers Is Good For Us All

In late March, the Supreme Court issued an important ruling for pregnant workers, stating that employers cannot impose a "significant burden" on pregnant workers and that an employer is not justified in making accommodations for a large percentage of non-pregnant workers, while denying the same kinds of accommodations to pregnant workers.

This was awesome. But more is needed.

That's why we're supporting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a federal bill modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to make reasonable, temporary accommodations for pregnant workers who need them, as long as doing so won't be an undue hardship for the employer. The bill will ensure women nationwide can continue to contribute to the economy and support their families, while having healthy pregnancies.

Check out the top 10 reasons why the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is important, not just for pregnant workers, but for us all:

  1. It's good for families.

    The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will be good for the economic security of women and their families. When women are forced out of the workplace while pregnant, they can lose their income and health benefits just when they and their families need them most, sometimes sending them into a dangerous financial spiral.
     
  2. It curbs discrimination.

    The bill prevents employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace by placing them on unpaid leave, firing them, or forcing them to quit when they are denied the reasonable accommodations that they need to continue working safely during their pregnancies. The bill thus puts women on an equal footing in the workforce.
     
  3. It's good for business.

    Employers have every reason to want to keep their good employees producing for them. A happy employee makes a company richer (it's proven), and a pregnant worker who is protected under the law can continue to work during her pregnancy. It's in everyone's best interest — pregnant workers, employers, coworkers and family members — to keep those in the workforce working and protected so they focus on doing the best job possible.
     
  4. It's good for the economy.

    What's good for business is good for the economy. When women are forced out of the workforce despite being able and eager to work, they are less able to contribute to the economy and may need to turn to social services just to get by. Everyone benefits when women fuel our economy, including when they're pregnant.
     
  5. It's good for our health.

    Under current law, women are too often forced to choose between their jobs and the health of their pregnancies, and some may feel compelled to do work that their doctors recommend they avoid while pregnant. This bill will help ensure women don't face that choice and will lead to healthier outcomes.
     
  6. It provides a clear rule for businesses to follow.

    The Supreme Court in March ruled in favor of pregnant workers, holding that employers can't cut them out of accommodations that other workers receive. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act goes further by providing a simple, uniform standard: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations as long as it's not an undue hardship to do so, regardless of how it treats other workers.
     
  7. It promotes safety.

    A pregnant worker shouldn't have to choose between keeping her job and having a healthy pregnancy. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will ensure that a pregnant worker can carry out her job duties without risking her safety, the safety of her pregnancy, and the safety of those around her. A safe work environment means decreased chances of accidents on the job and increased confidence among employees.
     
  8. The bill has a lot of support.

    A broad range of business associations, women's advocacy groups, and workers' groups support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. States and cities across the country have already acted on a bipartisan basis to pass laws protecting pregnant workers, which lawmakers recognize as common-sense measures that benefit everyone. The bill introduced on the federal level today already has bipartisan support.
     
  9. It impacts a lot of people.

    In the past 12 months alone, 62 percent of pregnant women and new moms were working. More than 4.2 million women gave birth in the last 12 months alone. Of course, pregnancy doesn't just impact the person having the baby, but the partners, spouses, children, parents, siblings, and more whose lives and livelihoods may be affected.
     
  10. It's the right thing to do.

    It can't be easy carrying a baby and working full-time. We shouldn't make it any more difficult by allowing employers to fire pregnant workers at will or putting them in dangerous situations where they have to choose between a healthy pregnancy or a job.

We have the power to protect pregnant workers, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is our chance.

Learn more about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

View comments (17)
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Anonymous

How about the women who are put on bed rest and have to deal with premature baby. FMLA usually runs out while they are on bed rest. Women then have to go back to work before they are ready sui that they can either spend a few, three to four weeks, once baby comes home. That is not enough time to get a preemie baby home and strong enough for child care. Families that have preemie's need help too.

Sarah Kahan

very interesting and why do people who are having babies and can't work when they overdue or starting to have a family or can't work anymore they need to start a bed rest

Jayne Nelson

What will businesses be required to do for non pregnant employees that have to do the additional work while the pregnant employee is gone? Not all jobs can be covered by temps. Some jobs require years of training that can't be accomplished if a woman suddenly announces she has medical problems with her pregnancy. Having a child is a decision/choice not the same as someone who gets cancer. It employee needs to consider all circumstances when she chooses to have a child NOT the employer.

Anonymous

Wow, you suck.

Anonymous

Wow - you're a real ball buster - I'd hate to have you as a boss. I can tell you have no children and probably don't want any. I hope you can find some kind of happiness in your life and develop empathy for women who do have difficult pregnancies. Good grief.

Anonymous

Are you fuckin serious?! You are what's wrong with the world. A child is a beautiful gift and it's not always a choice or a plan to have a baby. Sometimes birth control fails or other things happen!! I suppose you support abortion in the second trimester or inequality between women and men in the workplace as well. I hope you never have kids because they will be taught to think with closed minds. Good day!

Anonymous

You're an ass

Anonymous

I believe pretty much they can be covered by temps.

Anonymous

You should really read the entire article.
"which requires employers to make reasonable, temporary accommodations for pregnant workers who need them, as long as doing so won't be an undue hardship for the employer. "

Anonymous

I think this is great! I had to go out on bed rest several times during both pregnancies. I worked in retail at the time. Women do their best to do their entire set of job responsibilities. We don't ask for complications such as torn abdominal muscles or subchorionic hemorrhages. We don't ask for placenta abruptions or anything else that can occur during pregnancies. This will help keep pregnant women working and doing their best until the birth of their babies. Someone made a comment on here about other employees having to pick up the slack when a pregnant woman goes down...it's called part-timers and they are fully capable of doing the job at hand. When I was pregnant, I had to pick up the slack for the lazy employees and suffered a subchorionic hemorrhage....but that's not m6 business, right?

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