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Kaine Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Pregnant Workers from Workplace Discrimination

3 Out of 4 Women Entering the Workforce Will Be Pregnant and Employed at Some Point in Their Careers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Children and Families, cosponsored the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to help 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 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 was originally introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). 

“We must work to address the challenges pregnant workers continue to face at work,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m proud to support this common-sense approach to help ensure that pregnant workers can stay in the workplace and support their families.” 

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

Read a summary of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.