A pregnant woman gives her employer a doctor’s note saying she shouldn’t lift more than twenty pounds. Her employer refuses to accommodate her. She suffers a miscarriage following a shift doing heavy lifting, and is subsequently fired.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 makes it illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace, meaning they can’t be treated worse than non-pregnant employees. But it does not require employers to make accommodations for pregnant employees – like avoiding strenuous work, or allowing them to carry a water bottle (pregnant women have been fired for both.)
Yesterday, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was introduced into the Senate. It would extend disability laws to pregnant women, requiring that employers make accommodations necessary to their health.
Click the link for a fact sheet about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and a letter you can send to your representative. Also, Google Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to learn more.