September 17, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act:
“Over 40 years since the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, pregnant workers still face discrimination on the job. As women increasingly become the sole breadwinners in their households and work later into their pregnancies to maintain their family’s financial security, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act establishes a straightforward right to reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic putting women and pregnant people at an increased risk for severe illness, the need for these protections is more important today than ever. 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 financial security and a healthy, safe pregnancy. Without clear, strong federal protections, workers and employers are left with an incomplete patchwork of state and local laws that leave many pregnant workers without protections. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act finally secures clear basic fundamental rights for pregnant workers by establishing their right to reasonable accommodation.”