Capito, colleagues introduce bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Bill would provide protections, reasonable workplace accommodations to ensure expecting mothers can continue working safely

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) this week joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in introducing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination.

This legislation, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow pregnant workers to continue working safely. It would 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).

“Women shouldn’t be at a professional disadvantage or health risk if they become pregnant at some point during their careers,” Senator Capito said. “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would provide simple, but important accommodations for pregnant women in the workplace that mitigate health risks while keeping their careers on track. West Virginia has been ahead of the game when it comes to this issue, and I’m proud to help introduce this legislation at the federal level to make these commonsense changes for women across the rest of the country.”

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, authored by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), would 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 bill would also prohibit employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations due to childbirth or related medical conditions.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is supported by A Better Balance; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); American Association of University Women (AAUW); American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs; California Women’s Law Center; Equal Rights Advocates; Hadassah; H.R. Policy Association; International Franchise Association; The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center; Legal Momentum; Main Street Alliance; March of Dimes; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Retail Federation; National Organization for Women; National Partnership for Women & Families; National WIC Association; National Women’s Law Center; Physicians for Reproductive Health; Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Retail Industry Leaders Association; Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); UnidosUS; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and Zero to Three.