Brunswick Beacon, 12.22.22
Do you think pregnant workers should have to quit their jobs because they occasionally need an extra bathroom break? Or because their doctor advised against heavy lifting? Or because they might occasionally need a stool to sit on? If so, you’ll be happy to know Tom Tillis recently blocked the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).
PWFA requires employers to “make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a qualified employee, unless…[it] would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business.”
It was introduced in the Senate with seven Republican co-sponsors, including Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a longtime practicing physician. “We need to care for and enable all Americans,” Cassidy said. “This is a double purpose for those pregnant. They contribute to our today and carry our future. This legislation is therefore a commitment to our present and our tomorrow as it cares for women who are pregnant and still working.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) said: “many women are still denied the basic, commonsense accommodations they need at work to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.”
PWFA is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National Retail Federation, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It passed the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a 19-2 vote. It passed the full House 315-101, including 99 Republican votes. It would easily pass the Senate if only a vote were allowed.
Tillis blocked the Senate from even voting on PWFA, bizarrely claiming it would provide women with “leave to obtain abortions on demand, under the guise of pregnancy-related conditions.” Just the opposite is true. PWFA promotes healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Tillis’ opposition cruelly forces women to choose between their job and motherhood, foolishly and perversely making it harder for women to carry their pregnancies to term.