House Passes Bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which prohibits employment practices that discriminate against pregnant workers or job applicants and establishes a pregnant worker's unequivocal right to reasonable workplace accommodations, provided they do not impose an undue burden on their employer. United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) was a cosponsor of the bill and voted in favor of passage.
"I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation because no woman should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and financial security," said Congressman Cleaver. "With women increasingly working later into their pregnancies, we need to put forth clear-cut protections that keep women safe and help to prevent unnecessary tragedies. That's exactly what this bill will do."
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would guarantee:
Private sector employers with more than 15 employees and public sector employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.
Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are not required to make an accommodation if it imposes an undue hardship on an employer's business.
Pregnant workers cannot be denied employment opportunities, retaliated against for requesting a reasonable accommodation, or forced to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation is available.
Workers denied a reasonable accommodation under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will have the same rights and remedies as those established under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These include lost pay, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has broad support from more than 200 worker advocates, civil rights groups, and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ACLU, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, NAACP, National Partnership for Women & Families, and more.
You can find a fact-sheet of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.