Last week, the Senate introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure that pregnant women aren’t forced out of their jobs. Forty years ago, women were expected to quit their jobs when they became pregnant. Back then, pregnancy was widely regarded as a disabling condition.
Today, it is now a well-accepted fact that most women remain perfectly healthy and able to work throughout their pregnancies, and since 1978 pregnancy discrimination has been illegal. Yet women in physically demanding jobs are STILL being forced out of the workplace, just because they need temporary, minor modifications to their job duties during pregnancy. As a result, expectant mothers are losing their jobs when they can least afford it.
Here are three startling examples:
- Heather got fired from Wal-Mart for carrying a water bottle.
- Natasha was forced onto unpaid leave and then fired because her district manager at Rent-A-Center found out she needed help with occasional heavy lifting on the sales floor.
- Sarah lost her job at a fast food restaurant for taking bathroom and water breaks.
And what do all of these women have in common? All three needed only minor accommodations to continue safely working during pregnancy. But because their employers refused, all three were forced out of work.
But just because a bill was introduced doesn’t mean it will move – Take Action: Please Contact Your Members of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors, the more likely this bill will move forward.