MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — A new bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives aims to give pregnant women more protections in the workplace.
The Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act establishes a pregnant worker’s clear cut right to reasonable accommodations, providing they don’t impose an undue burden to their employer.
Currently, there is no federal law that guarantees the right of pregnant workers to reasonable accommodations, so they can continue to work without jeopardizing their pregnancy.
The legislation would require employers with more than 15 employees to make reasonable accommodations for workers with known limitations, due to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related conditions.
Some of these accommodations will include things like seating, water breaks, closer parking, flexible hours, appropriate sized uniforms and safety apparel, bathroom breaks, and excusing pregnant workers from strenuous activities.
“It’s important legislation for women to know that they are safe at work, that there are laws that protect them. This also gives relief to a lot of husbands, who are at work knowing their wives are cared for in the workplace, and they are being treated fairly,” says Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, U.S. House District 15.
Under this legislation, pregnant workers would also gain protections from being denied employment opportunities, retaliation against requesting reasonable accommodations or being forced to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation is available.
Congressman Gonzalez says there are already laws in place to treat pregnant mothers equally but this makes sure they can be accommodated and protected.
Gonzalez adds he has been working for and supporting this legislation since he arrived at Congress.
The bipartisian bill will now head to the Senate for approval.