Legislation

Legislation would increase protections for pregnant workers

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Photo: michaeljung/iStockphoto

Washington – A group of lawmakers is trying again to secure protections for pregnant workers.

The legislation – dubbed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S. 1512 and H.R. 2654) – was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress on June 4. If approved, the legislation will require employers to provide pregnant workers with “reasonable workplace accommodations” such as being able to drink bottled water or use a stool while working at a register.

Similar legislation has been introduced multiple times during the past few years but has failed to gain traction in the House and Senate.

Lawmakers said the legislation was modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“With more and more women working while pregnant, we need to make sure that their employers provide them the reasonable and necessary accommodations they need (such as access to water) to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy,” Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), a co-sponsor for the House bill, said in a press release. “It is unfortunate that Congress needs to even address this issue since any sensible person would consider it inconceivable to fire a pregnant woman for trying to care for the health of herself and her baby.”