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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2014 01:15 PM
From: Senator Matt Smith
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Pregnant Workers Fairness Package
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce SB 1209 and SB 927 of the 2013-14 legislative session. These bills would require employers to offer reasonable, temporary accommodations to pregnant workers, and would protect them from discrimination in the workplace. Descriptions of each proposal are below.

Please join me in co-sponsoring these important pieces of legislation. If you have questions please contact my office at 717-787-5839.

Document #1

Introduced as SB40

Description: Pennsylvania Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The first piece of legislation, formerly SB 1209 of the 2013-14 legislative session, establishes the Pennsylvania Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This legislation is aimed at ensuring fair, safe, and healthy working conditions for pregnant women in the workplace. Specifically, this legislation would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations in duties and workplace conditions to pregnant women during their pregnancies. This is a pragmatic step to ensure that the health and safety of pregnant women are balanced equally with productive employment.
Federal law protects women from being fired or otherwise discriminated against due to pregnancy, but whether or not this protection extends to providing certain necessary and temporary accommodations to ensure their health and safety is unclear and  the subject of Young v. UPS, a case currently before the US Supreme Court. My legislation would establish such protections in the Commonwealth.
Three-quarters of women entering the workforce will be pregnant and employed at the same time during their careers, and my legislation would ensure that they can balance each part of their life in a way that is safe and practical for all parties involved.
Previous co-sponsors include Teplitz, Wozniak, Stack, Fontana, Costa, Farnese, Williams, Solobay, Yudichak, Brewster, and McIlhinney.

Document #2

Introduced as SB41

Description: Amending the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to protect Pregnant Workers
The second piece of legislation, formerly SB 927 of the 2013-14 legislative session, amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) by adding language to clarify that discrimination against women on the basis of pregnancy is a violation of the PHRA.
My legislation will place into statute a definition of “pregnancy”, and adds “pregnancy” to the list of discriminatory practices deemed unlawful by this act.  Specifically, my legislation incorporates the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act definition of pregnancy into the PHRA as a specific protected class.  This measure will ensure that all women are treated fairly and that they receive full protection under the PHRA.
Previous cosponsors include Teplitz, Brewster, Fontana, Ferlo, Washington, Rafferty, Mensch, Costa, Greenleaf, Tartaglione, Williams, Farnese, Solobay, Hughes, and Browne.