Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers

of $1.7 Trillion Federal Spending Bill President Joe Biden last week signed a lead to expand protections for pregnant or breastfeeding workers.

Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Lactating Mothers Act, both included as amendments to the Appropriations Bill, left the existing legislation inadequately protected. It states that the rights of these workers will be clarified.

Senators Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Bill Cassidy (R-Los Angeles) jointly endorsed a bill to strengthen pregnant workers’ rights. The law, which goes into effect in June, requires companies with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnant workers as long as it does not place an undue burden on employers. . This means that pregnant workers are not automatically denied additional restroom breaks, heavy lifting, the opportunity to sit while working, or other accommodations. This means that we cannot discriminate against pregnant job applicants who require such consideration.

Proponents of the amendment said neither the existing Pregnancy Discrimination Act (an amendment to the Civil Rights Act) nor the Americans with Disabilities Act provided pregnant workers with the necessary accommodations for a healthy pregnancy. As these measures did not provide adequate protection, 30 states According to Bloomberg Law, it has enacted its own laws for pregnant workers.

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Dina Bakst, co-founder of A Better Balance, a nonprofit focused on labor litigation, legislative advocacy, and education, advocates for the Supreme Court to assess the rights and needs of pregnant workers. It said the bill was necessary due to the standards of

baking, testimony Having submitted to Congress in support of the bill, the 2015 court ruling in Young v. UPS “requires pregnant workers to bypass the legal process to prove discrimination.” It has set an overly complex and burdensome standard forcourt hold Pregnant workers are entitled to the same considerations as workers who are restricted by injury or disability.

Bakst also testified that a 2019 report by her organization found pregnant workers lost as a result of court rulings. 29 out of 43 Pregnancy Adaptation Case in Lower Court. Elizabeth Gedmark, vice president of A Better Balance, told States Newsroom that she didn’t know how many workers were out of court due to the stress and financial problems associated with taking legal action. Stated.

“You don’t have to look around and find another colleague, jump through all these hoops, or prove you’re disabled under the ADA,” she said. We need to ensure that reasonable accommodation is available when needed to prevent the outbreak before it begins.”

For too long, pregnant workers have been without the vital protection many need to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

– Jocelyn Frye, National Partnership for Women and Families

As recently as August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that Walmart not violated According to Bloomberg, pregnant workers are not included in Wisconsin’s fulfillment center policy that allows jobs to be assigned to workers injured on the job, Bloomberg reported.court Said Walmart was not required to provide any justification for why the policy was limited to these workers only, an allegation made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued on behalf of women workers. bottom.

Jocelyn Fry, President of the National Partnership for Women and Families Said The passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was a victory for gender and racial equity. She added: A glass of water for hydration. ”

Bill passed with bipartisan support Approved by American Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Society for Human Resource Management, National Retail Federation.

ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Vania Leveille also celebrated the passage of the PUMP Act for Breastfeeding Mothers, sponsored by US Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). This was also included in the appropriations bill. .

The Affordable Care Act required workers to have rest periods to express breast milk and privacy to pump, but employees were not considered exempt from overtime. , the measure was necessary, supporters said. Excluding 9 million women workers of childbearing age, according to A 2019 report from the Center for Work-Life Law at the University of California.

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act is supposed to fill these coverage gaps. ACLUs and Work-Life Law Center. It also extends the period during which breastfeeding parents can benefit from these accommodations. 1 to 2 years.

“The PUMP Act for Lactating Mothers is very transformative because it provides breaks and spaces other than toilets and expands the scope of federal legislation that requires nursing workers to be sanitary. ,” said Gedmark.

Businesses with 50 or more employees will have to provide time and space to express milk immediately, but the ability to file complaints against employers and take legal action won’t start until April. .

Transportation workers are treated differently under the PUMP Act, with coach drivers for long-distance bus companies and some railroad workers being three years behind on applicable legislation. There is also a difference between airline exemptions and how the law affects some railroad workers. Employers are not required to provide rest breaks to train crew railroad workers when it is too costly for the employer and when it creates a dangerous situation for another railroad worker with right-of-way. The wording explains.

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