09.17.20

Congresswoman Lee Applauds the Passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Washington, D.C – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee applauded the passage of H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Congresswoman Lee that establishes a pregnant worker’s clear-cut right to reasonable workplace accommodations, provided they do not impose an undue burden on their employer. 

There is currently no federal law that explicitly and affirmatively guarantees all pregnant workers the right to basic accommodations – such as appropriate seating, water breaks, and relief from heavy lifting – so they can continue working without jeopardizing their pregnancy. 

“Pregnancy discrimination is dangerous and far too common in our workplaces, and with my experience as a single mom struggling to make ends meet, I know this to be true,” said Congresswoman Lee. “This discrimination can take many forms, from denying pregnant workers safer work accommodations to being fired or held back from a promotion. Without protections for pregnant workers, Black and brown women, and those in low-income communities will continue to suffer the most from discrimination. Passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a crucial step toward ensuring better health and economic outcomes for pregnant workers.”

The House vote comes as COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten workers’ health and safety, particularly for pregnant workers who may be at increased risk of severe illness from the virus. Women comprise 64 percent of frontline workers.   

Read more about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.