New Bill Prevents Employers From Pushing Pregnant Workers Out of Work

May 14, 2013 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced today the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to make the same reasonable accommodations for pregnancy as they do for disabilities. Women make up almost half of today’s workforce.

“No woman should be forced by her employer to choose between earning a living and having a safe, healthy pregnancy,” said Vania Leveille, American Civil Liberties Union senior legislative counsel. “This legislation would make it crystal clear that employers are required to extend the same adjustments and flexibility to pregnant women that they already give to other employees. Members of Congress should support this common-sense approach that ensures a woman’s economic security, promotes a healthy pregnancy, and can improve an employer’s bottom line.”

Three-quarters of women entering the workforce will be pregnant and employed at some point. Under current law, employers cannot discriminate based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, but pregnant workers are often forced out of their jobs unnecessarily and denied the temporary, minor modifications to job duties that would enable them to continue working.

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