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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1065 - Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

May 11, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)
(Rep. Nadler, D-NY, and 228 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Pregnant workers are too often unable to access simple changes to their working conditions that would allow them to keep doing their jobs and do so safely. This can create risks to their health as well as economic consequences. No worker should be forced to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would provide basic, long overdue protections to ensure that pregnant workers and job applicants are not fired or otherwise discriminated against, or denied reasonable accommodations that allow them to work. Such protections promote family economic security by helping women stay in the workforce, including for those, often women of color, who are the sole or primary breadwinners in their families. Approximately two million women have left the workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eroding more than 30 years of progress in women's labor force participation, and this Administration is committed to ensuring that women can both care for and support themselves and their families.

H.R. 1065 is a bipartisan bill that requires certain employers to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees and job applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. These accommodations might include simple modifications, such as modifying a no-food-or-drink policy, providing additional break time to use the bathroom, or helping avoid the lifting of heavy objects, depending on the circumstances. The bill would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified pregnant workers unless doing so would pose an undue hardship to the employer. It would also provide for an interactive process, where necessary, between employers and pregnant workers to determine appropriate and effective reasonable accommodations, and would protect pregnant workers from being denied employment opportunities, or from retaliation or interference, because they request or use an accommodation.

The Administration encourages the House to pass this bipartisan, commonsense legislation and looks forward to working with the Congress to protect pregnant workers across the country.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1065 - Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/350249