Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Introduced By Congress

6:26 PM, May 9, 2012   |    comments
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It's the trend for pregnant women to slow down when carrying a child until birth, but this could cause consequences at work. She could face being pushed out on medical leave or even being fired.

"Pregnant women [that] request minor adjustments are forced out of their jobs unnecessarily and denied the minor modifications to workplace duties, rules, or policies that would enable them to continue working and supporting their families," said National Women Law Center.

Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in order to eradicate discrimination against pregnant workers back in 1978. The PDA prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and directs employers to treat pregnant women as well as any other temporarily disabled worker, as long as they are similar in their ability or inability to work.

According to the N.W.L.C., Yes it's true: In 2012, getting pregnant can still cost you your job."

Now, five lawmakers are standing up for expecting mothers. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) will introduce the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) to address this problem.

The proposal is expected bring critical legislation that would would ensure protections for pregnant workers who face being pushed out on leave or terminated when they ask their employers for even the most minor workplace accommodations. It would also require an employer to make a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, unless this creates an undue hardship on the employer. The PWFA is legislation that would help millions of women, especially those who are economically vulnerable, to keep working and supporting their families.

The proposal is already getting backing from several Women's organizations This act is being driven by five democratic representatives from across the country.

The state of North Carolina does not provide paid leave for maternity leave. And the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only provides up to 12-weeks of unpaid job protection.

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