Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, legislation that would prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace by placing them on unpaid leave, firing them, or forcing them to quit when they are denied the reasonable accommodations that they need to continue working safely during their pregnancies. The bill ensures that, where an employer can provide a reasonable accommodation such as a minor job modification to allow a woman to continue working, the employer must do so, unless it would pose an undue hardship.
“Expectant mothers should not have to worry about being forced out of their jobs or jeopardizing their health because of outdated and discriminatory workplace practices. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act respects the dignity of women who make up half of the American workforce and ensures that their health and well-being, and the economic security of their families, is protected during their pregnancies. I’m proud to support legislation that would not only benefit more than 400,000 female workers in Nevada, but also strengthen protections for workers’ and women’s rights.”
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, by using a framework familiar to employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would make it easier for employers to comply with the law, and easier for pregnant workers to request those minor modifications that will enable them to continue working.
The bill has the support of over 130 civil rights and women’s advocacy organizations, unions, and business associations, including the ACLU, AFL-CIO, American Association of University Women (AAUW), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
During the 2017 legislative session, the Nevada Legislature passed the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to female employees and applicants for employment for a condition of the employee or applicant relating to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition and prohibiting discriminatory practices by employers relating to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.