ACLU Condemns Failure to Vote on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the Senate
WASHINGTON — Despite bipartisan support in Congress and overwhelming public support, a vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act called for by Sen. Bob Casey and supported by Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate HELP Committee, and Sen. Bill Cassidy was blocked in the Senate today.
“We cannot allow today’s failure to vote to be the death knell that denies millions of women the protections they desperately need,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. “The Pregnant Workers Fairness is a critical civil rights bill that will combat pregnancy discrimination and safeguard the health and economic security of women and families. It must pass. Senate leaders have had multiple opportunities in the last year to bring this bill for a vote, and the voices of working women and advocates have been continually ignored and our hopes deferred. Pregnant workers have fought too hard for too long for the Senate to simply give up on legislation that will help ensure no one has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck. We are determined that this Congress should not end while leaving this essential and bipartisan bill on the cutting room floor. Majority Leader Schumer must bring the PWFA to a vote without further delay.”
On Thursday, Dec. 8, Sen. Casey called for unanimous consent on PWFA and was objected to by Sen. Thom Tillis on behalf of himself, Sen. Steve Daines, and Sen. James Lankford. The bill must be brought to a vote before the Senate adjourns later this month.
PWFA requires businesses with 15 or more employees to provide pregnant workers with temporary, reasonable accommodation if doing so would not place an undue hardship on the business.
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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Today, gender bias continues to create huge barriers for many women. Ongoing struggles include ensuring equal economic opportunities, educational equity, and an end to gender-based violence.