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House Passes Bonamici-Led Bill to Protect Pregnant Workers from Discrimination

September 17, 2020
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [09/17/20] Today the House passed bipartisan legislation championed by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Chair of the Education and Labor Committee’s Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee, to establish the right of pregnant workers to reasonable accommodations on the job without facing discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. 

Bonamici spoke in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, H.R. 2694, on the House floor. Video of her remarks can be found here.

“As a mom and a policy maker, I know how important it is to protect the economic security of pregnant workers and working families,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said on the House floor. “Reasonable accommodations can range from providing seating, water, and light duty, to excusing pregnant workers from tasks that involve dangerous substances. But when pregnant workers do not have access to the accommodations they need, they are at risk of losing their job, being denied a promotion, or not being hired in the first place.”

“By clarifying the right of pregnant workers to fair treatment in the workplace, we will finally guarantee that pregnant workers get the accommodations they need without fear of facing discrimination or retaliation.”

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, more than 60 percent of women have experienced pregnancy discrimination on the job, including losing a job, being denied a promotion, or not being hired in the first place. In her floor speech Bonamici noted that women of color are overrepresented in low-wage, physically demanding jobs and are therefore disproportionately harmed by a lack of access to reasonable accommodations.

Bonamici chairs the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services, which held a hearing on the bill in 2019. Before a committee vote to advance the bill, Bonamici spoke to CBS This Morning for an in-depth look at the importance of addressing pregnancy discrimination. A long list of organizations support the bill, including A Better Balance, the National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center, ACLU, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Teamsters Union.