Maloney Applauds Passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

May 14, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today voted to pass the H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Congresswoman Maloney was the first sitting New York City Council Member to give birth while in office. She is the sponsor of the Federal Employees Paid Leave Act, signed into law in 2019, which provides all federal workers with 12 weeks paid leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. She is also the sponsor of a bill currently pending to provide access to paid parental leave to hundreds of thousands of USPS employees across the country.

 

“I was proud today to vote for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and am urging the Senate to pass it swiftly. Pregnancy discrimination holds working parents back and threatens their financial stability, with women of color being disproportionately harmed by the current lack of workplace protections. It’s long past time we ensure that every worker is entitled to reasonable accommodations to support a healthy pregnancy,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “We just celebrated Mother’s Day. What if – in addition to flowers one day per year – we make sure that during pregnancy, workers have fair working conditions? And are never in the position of risking their safety to continue providing for themselves and their families? No pregnant worker should have to choose between their health or their job.”

 

Background

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has broad support from more than 250 worker advocates, civil rights groups, and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a recent survey of voters across the country, 89 percent said they support the proposal, including 81 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Independents, and 96 percent of Democrats.

 

Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act:

 

  • Private sector employers with more than 15 employees as well as public sector employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers (employees and job applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions).
    • Like 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.

 

Read more about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.

 

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