Earlier this week, a bill designed to better protect pregnant women in the workplace was introduced in the U.S. Senate. Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, employers would be required to provide mothers-to-be with “reasonable accommodations” – akin to protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act. As described by Health Watch, “a boss might have to reassign heavy-lifting tasks, for example, or provide a pregnant employee with a stool if she experiences pain while standing for long periods during work.”
More from that blog:
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), a group that supports the bill, says it would toughen a 1978 law that banned discrimination toward pregnant women.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is not enough on its own, the NWLC argues, because some pregnant women have not been sufficiently protected under that law.
In one case cited by the group, Wal-Mart fired a pregnant employee for insubordination after she refused to stop carrying a water bottle at work as recommended by her doctor.
In another case, a pregnant Old Navy employee was dismissed after she asked to be exempt from climbing ladders and lifting heavy objects for the final month and a half before her maternity leave.