WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) lauded landmark legislation she introduced with Bob Casey (D-PA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – being signed into law through the omnibus funding package. This new bipartisan law will ensure pregnant workers are provided reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
“I’m thrilled this overdue legislation to prevent discrimination against expectant mothers at work is now law of the land. These essential accommodations will help ensure pregnant workers can fully participate in the workplace and provide for their families. I’ve long championed this effort and I’ll continue to advocate for important legislation that supports workers’ rights,” said Shaheen.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), will require employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow pregnant workers to continue working safely. It will ensure that employers with 15 or more employees provide reasonable accommodations that are often low-cost or no cost, unless it would pose an undue hardship to the employer. The bill includes protections not already codified in the ADA or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will allow pregnant workers to continue working by ensuring they can have accommodations such as additional bathroom breaks, light duty or a stool to sit on if a worker stands all day. It would prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs. The new law also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations due to childbirth or related medical conditions. Senator Shaheen first introduced this bill with Senator Casey in 2012.