By Bob Katzen
House 150-0, Senate 38-0, approved and the governor signed into law the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that prohibits an employer from discriminating against, refusing to employ or firing a woman because she is pregnant or has a condition related to pregnancy.
The measure guarantees reasonable accommodations and safety measures for pregnant mothers. Reasonable accommodations include time off to recover from childbirth; more frequent, longer paid or unpaid breaks; acquiring or modifying equipment or seating arrangements; and a private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk — unless any of these would create an undue hardship on the employer.
Supporters said a pregnant woman should not have to fear losing her job when she could continue working with some reasonable adjustments. They argued that no one should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a weekly paycheck.