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Legislation Would Provide Same Workplace Protections Extended to Workers with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced legislation to protect the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. His Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S. 3565) would give the same protections extended to those with disabilities to pregnant workers.

“Pregnant workers face discrimination in the workplace every day, which is an inexcusable detriment to women and working families in Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Senator Casey. “My bill will finally extend fairness to pregnant women so that they can continue to contribute to a productive economy while progressing through pregnancy in good health.”

The bill, modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, would prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace by placing them on unpaid leave, firing them, or forcing them to quit when they are denied the accommodations they need to continue working safely.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would also help ensure that employers provide job modifications when it would allow a woman to continue working during pregnancy.

In 2010, the most recent year where data is available, 65% of Pennsylvania women who gave birth also worked outside of the home during that period.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) cosponsored the legislation.