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Congressman Steven Horsford votes to strengthen protections for pregnant workers

Politics

In this image from video, Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) voted to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which is a bipartisan bill he cosponsored to establish clear workplace protections and reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. 

“For far too long, pregnant workers have had to choose between their health and a paycheck. This bill will finally secure basic workplace accommodations for pregnant workers such as appropriate seating, water breaks, and relief from heavy lifting so they can continue to work without putting their health in danger,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I am glad the House could come together to codify these protections and bring us one step closer to creating a fair work environment for all people.”

While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provide some protections for pregnant workers, there is currently no federal law that explicitly and affirmatively guarantees all pregnant workers the right to basic accommodations. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, H.R. 2694, establishes their clear-cut right to reasonable accommodations, provided they do not impose an undue burden on their employer. 

This is what’s under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act:

  • Private sector employers with more than 15 employees as well as public sector employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers (employees and job applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions). 
  • Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are not required to make an accommodation if it imposes an undue hardship on an employer’s business. 
  • Pregnant workers cannot be denied employment opportunities, retaliated against for requesting a reasonable accommodation, or forced to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation is available.
  • Workers denied a reasonable accommodation under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will have the same rights and remedies as those established under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These include lost pay, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
  • Public sector employees have similar relief available under the Congressional Accountability Act, Title V of the United States Code, and the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991.

The proposal received broad support from more than 200 worker advocates, civil rights groups, and business groups.

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