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Advancing the rights of working families.

Fairness for Pregnant Workers

pregnant retail worker 3

Courtesy Game Face Productions

Fairness for Pregnant Workers

Read our reports, "Pregnant and Jobless: Thirty-Seven Years After Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Pregnant Women Still Choose Between A Paycheck and A Healthy Pregnancy" and "It Shouldn't Be A Heavy Lift: Fair Treatment for Pregnant Workers." written with the National Women's Law Center, about this issue.

  • Click here to learn about your rights under the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act if you are a worker in NYC
  • Click here for more about the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
  • Click here for local pregnancy workplace fairness campaigns across the country
  • Click here for State and Local Laws Protecting Pregnant Workers
  • Click here to learn about the pregnancy discrimination Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS

Current employment laws need an update to provide critical protections to keep pregnant workers healthy and on the job. Under federal law, as interpreted by courts in some jurisdictions, employers are not required to make minor job modifications for pregnant women unless they have a pregnancy-related disability. As a result, pregnant women are often forced to take unpaid leave or are fired for requesting a small accommodation. For example:

  • A pregnant retail worker was fired because she needed to carry a water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • A truck driver with a lifting restriction was placed on unpaid leave because she was denied light duty.
  • An activity director in a nursing home who required some help with a few physically demanding aspects of her job to prevent having another miscarriage was terminated.

These women all lost their cases in court. This lack of protection causes significant economic harm to pregnant women and their families. Other pregnant workers have no choice but to risk their health in order to earn a paycheck. We need stronger laws and policies nationwide to ensure that no woman has to choose between her job and a healthy pregnancy!


Read the New York Times Op-Ed by Dina Bakst, A Better Balance Co-President, that inspired the introduction of the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.      


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