The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes in the House

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes in the House

The bill that protects pregnant workers and their unborn children now heads to the Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring reasonable accommodations for employees limited by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The vote was 315-101. The PWFA was introduced by Jerry Nadler in 2012. It’s a bipartisan proposal to guarantee basic workplace protections for pregnant employees, this includes bathroom breaks and stools for workers to sit on.

"Over the nearly nine years since I first introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, I have met with countless pregnant workers and listened to their heartrending stories of having to make the impossible decision between staying at work or protecting the health of their pregnancy. That's a choice no one should ever be forced to make and it's why I have fought tirelessly to advance the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act," said Representative Nadler.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was past. However, many workers still face discrimination, which includes being denied reasonable accommodations, being fired or not hired in the first place. A survey shows 62 percent of workers witnessed pregnancy discrimination on the job. According to an article, the bill requires private-sector employers with 15 or more workers to make “reasonable accommodations” for their pregnant employees. The bill also protects workers from retaliation after making requests and from being forced into taking unpaid leave.

"It is so vitally important that mothers receive quality healthcare during their pregnancy, without the risk of discrimination," Rep. Lucy McBath said. "I am proud to support this legislation that will help protect pregnant women and their families, because no mother should ever have to choose between the health of themselves and their child, or their paycheck."

The PWFA has support from more than 250 advocate and business groups.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2022

    July / August 2022


      Specific PPE is Needed for Entry and Exit
      Three Quick Steps to Better HazCom Training
      Building a Chemical Emergency Toolkit
      The Last Line of Defense
    View This Issue