|Posted:||May 8, 2015 12:17 PM|
|From:||Representative Sheryl M. Delozier|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Women|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to require employers in the Commonwealth to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant employees. I hope you will join me in this important effort.
Three-quarters of women entering the labor force will be pregnant and employed at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination continues to be a problem all across the country. Pregnant workers are often forced out of the workplace, or required to work in unsafe conditions, having long-term impacts on both their health and their family’s economic security. Usually, the accommodations pregnant employees need are minor, such as sitting on a stool or having a water bottle nearby. While there are a number of federal, state, and local laws that protect pregnant workers, there are significant gaps in these statutes.
This legislation will make it unlawful for an employer to refuse an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would represent an undue hardship to the employer. Reasonable accommodations include providing periodic rest or a chair for an employee who stands for a long period of time, assistance with heavy lifting, access to drinking water, uncompensated break time and temporary job restructuring. Additionally, the legislation will forbid employers from denying employment opportunities to employees based on their request for accommodations. I believe this is a common sense proposal that protects women’s health, while at the same time not imposing a significant burden on our state’s employers.
Currently, twelve states have passed legislation requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women. I believe it is time Pennsylvania is added to this list. No woman should have to choose between their job and a healthy and safe pregnancy. I invite all members to co-sponsor this proposal.
Introduced as HB1176