PA Senior Senator called for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to pass, but a small number of Republicans objected to the bipartisan bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) took to the Senate floor in an attempt to pass his Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a commonsense bill that would provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations so they can maintain healthy pregnancies while continuing to work. Senator Casey’s attempt was blocked by a few Republicans despite broad, bipartisan support for the legislation. Casey has been fighting to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act since 2012, and was joined by his colleagues Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in his attempt to pass the bill.
“It is unconscionable to stand against pregnant workers and their families, but that is exactly what a small number of Republican Senators did today,” said Senator Casey. “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is not controversial. It provides commonsense protections so people can continue working without putting extra strain on their pregnancies. I will keep working with our broad, bipartisan coalition to pass this bill however possible.”
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and would 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—like extra bathroom breaks or a stool for workers who stand—so they can continue working while not putting extra strain on their pregnancies. The bill includes protections not already codified in the ADA or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The bill passed the House with bipartisan support and has broad, bipartisan support in the Senate.
Senator Casey attempted to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act through unanimous consent—a procedure that allows bills to be passed expeditiously and without multiple votes.