Target: U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Goal: Require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related medical issues
Currently there are no federal standards protecting pregnant working women. While individual workplaces may set their own standards to the benefit of their pregnant employees, employers are still not required to accommodate pregnant women. A bill called the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act would eliminate discrimination and require that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related medical issues.
The Pregnant Worker Fairness Act has been sitting in the House Committee since May 2013 and still has not been passed. State laws vary on protection for pregnant workers and many women don’t even know what their rights are. This bill would protect women on a federal level, which would set standards for employers across the nation. The goal of the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act is to “eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”
Some of the protections this bill would provide include simple requirements like allowing a pregnant woman to sit down instead of standing for eight hours and allowing her to drink water at her workstation. The bill would also make it illegal to deny employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee. The bill would also deem it illegal to require a job applicant or employee to accept accommodations that the applicant or employee chooses not to accept. In other words, the bill would protect a pregnant woman’s right to refuse accommodations that she does not approve of.
It is crucial to provide pregnant working women with federal protections. Their physical and emotional well-being greatly affects the well-being of their child. These protections would also ensure a pleasant and safe working environment for pregnant women without having them to choose between providing for their families and their health. Sign this petition to urge the House Committee to pass the bill onto the Senate and sign it into action.
Dear U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce,
I urge you to review the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act and pass it onto the Senate as soon as possible. The bill has stalled in the committee since May 14, 2013 and it is a crucial piece of legislation that protects the right of pregnant employees.
Women need these federal protections to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment because for many, quitting a job due to the inconveniences a pregnancy brings along is not an option. Please protect pregnant working women across the nation whose employers might not have set adequate regulations of their own.
[Your Name here]
Photo credit: Susan via Flickr