May 14, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
“Since the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act over 40 years ago, pregnant workers still face discrimination on the job. As people increasingly work later into their pregnancies and maintain their family’s financial security, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act establishes a straightforward right to reasonable workplace accommodations.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic putting pregnant individuals at an increased risk for severe illness, the need for these protections is more important than ever. Additionally, women of color who are overrepresented in low-wage, physically demanding jobs are disproportionately impacted by the lack of access to reasonable accommodations. This bipartisan bill protects pregnant workers from being denied employment opportunities, retaliated against for requesting reasonable accommodations, or forced to take leave if another reasonable accommodation is available.
“No one should be forced to choose between continuing in their current job and a healthy, safe pregnancy. Without clear federal guidance, workers and employers have been left with an incomplete patchwork of state and local laws that leave many pregnant workers without protections. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will help ensure that speaking up to address challenges faced on the job while pregnant is not a barrier or excuse for discrimination or retaliation. I am proud to be a cosponsor on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which finally secures clear fundamental rights for pregnant workers by establishing their right to reasonable accommodation.”