Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes for Workplace Protections for Pregnant Workers
September 17, 2020
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted to pass H.R.2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill which will greatly expand workplace protections for pregnant workers, preventing them from having to choose between a safe pregnancy and financial security. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a cosponsor of the bill.
The bill was passed by a vote of 329-73, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“We are a stronger society when we care for one another and our families. Too often, pregnant women are faced with the impossible decision of ensuring a safe pregnancy or providing for her family. This bill helps make sure basic protections are in place while she is at work that best serve the wellbeing of mom and her baby,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Background: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was a critical step forward in ensuring employment protections for pregnant women in the workplace. Though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prevents mothers from employment discrimination, H.R.2694 goes a step further to ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. Such accommodations may include allowing pregnant employees in the service industry to sit while working, or have the opportunity to take more bathroom and water breaks.
Women are working later into their pregnancies. More than 80 percent of pregnant workers continue to work into their last trimester. While reasonable accommodations may not be requested in all cases, there are many reports of employers firing or pushing unpaid leave onto pregnant workers who need reasonable accommodation. The effect is disastrous, cutting off both a paycheck and health insurance just when both are needed the most.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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