The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) would protect the health and economic security of pregnant workers and their families. Too many workers are forced to choose between a healthy pregnancy and earning a paycheck, because they are denied temporary job modifications – like a stool to sit on, a schedule change, or a break from lifting heavy boxes.
PWFA addresses this problem issue by requiring employers with 15 or more employees to make “reasonable accommodations,” which are often no- or low-cost, for pregnant employees. Among other protections, PWFA would prevent pregnant workers from being pushed out of their jobs, and prevent employers from denying job opportunities to an applicant or employee because of the individual’s need for a reasonable accommodation.
S. 1486 was introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators on April 29, 2021, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. It passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committed on August 3 by a 19-2 vote, and awaits action by the full Senate.
Its companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1065, passed the House on May 14, 2021 by a vote of 315-101.