New law would call for workplace accommodations for pregnant employees

Pro-Worker, Pro-Life, Pro-Family

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is back, and it looks like it will be coming to a floor vote in Congress. This long-overdue bill would direct employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, much as they would for a worker with a disability – say, shifting them to an assignment with reduced heavy lifting during pregnancy, if available.

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Longtime readers will recall our story on a New York Times investigation of working conditions for women warehouse workers at New Breed Logistics (that’s right, the company founded by Postmaster General Frank DeJoy) and its successor firm, XPO. Multiple women there experienced miscarriages attributed to their work duties. In a particularly notorious incident, a pregnant warehouse worker who asked for light duty was told by a supervisor that she should get an abortion if she couldn’t handle the lifting!

Dozens of states have already passed laws protecting pregnant workers’ rights, often representing a rare opportunity for bipartisan action. In a Christian political economy, the marketplace should accommodate the needs of families. The Catholic Labor Network has endorsed this legislation and urges members to contact their legislators in support.

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