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Washington, D.C., June 4, 2015 – To celebrate the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We applaud the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a critical bill that would allow pregnant women to continue to work and to provide for their families by requiring employers to reasonably accommodate their pregnancy-related health needs. Without these protections, too many women are confronted with the agonizing choice of risking the health of their pregnancy or facing possible forced leave or termination.
Though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, the recent Supreme Court decision in Young v. United Parcel Service reminds us that existing law is not enough to guarantee true and full protections for pregnant workers. For the three-quarters of women who will be pregnant and employed over the course of their lives, nearly 90 percent of whom continue working into their last month of pregnancy, PWFA is a necessary and long overdue measure that would protect both their physical health and their economic stability.
Our Jewish tradition demands the fair treatment of all workers as a matter of justice. We fight for strong protections for pregnant workers so that they can continue to contribute to their companies’ well-being throughout their pregnancy, while also ensuring their personal well-being. That PWFA has bipartisan support for the first time in its history demonstrates that the issue of pregnancy accommodations transcends politics and embodies shared values across a diverse range of beliefs.
We urge all Members of Congress to co-sponsor, support and vote for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Together, we can ensure that our country’s workplaces are productive, healthy, and just places of employment.