Rep. Jim Cooper recently signed on as a co-sponsor to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job.
While most working pregnant women do not encounter discrimination at work, some are faced with work environments that put their pregnancies at risk. This bill would encourage employers to make reasonable and temporary accommodations, like letting a pregnant worker use a stool rather than stand for hours, to allow pregnant women to continue working safely.
"Women are vital to our nation's workforce and our economic stability. A woman shouldn't be forced to choose between following her doctor's orders or losing salary, especially when she has a baby on the way. This bill would allow common-sense accommodations so that pregnant workers can protect their families and not risk losing their jobs," Cooper said.
This bill has been introduced in the House and the Senate and has the support of a broad coalition of civil rights and women's advocacy organizations, unions, and business associations, including: A Better Balance; the AFL-CIO; the American Association of University Women; the American Civil Liberties Union; the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; California Women's Law Center; Equal Rights Advocates; Hadassah; the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center; Legal Momentum; the Main Street Alliance; the National Partnership for Women & Families; the National Organization for Women Foundation; the National Women's Law Center; and many others.
Several states -- Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas -- already have laws to ensure that pregnant workers have on-the-job protections. Maryland will soon join their ranks.