The US House of Representatives approved the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Thursday in a 329-73 vote.
The bill was introduced by Jerrold Nadler of New York and seeks to provide additional protections for pregnant workers. The legislation specifically requires “reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” These additional protections would help pregnant workers who might need accommodations, while also preventing employers from discriminating against pregnant employees for workplace opportunities such as a promotion or raise.
Employers could now potentially face the consequences of costly litigation for discriminating against pregnant workers. Pregnant workers often risk having their hours cut or are urged to take a leave of absence because they are believed to be no longer able to do their jobs successfully. However, an accommodation can often alleviate these issues.
The bill will now head to the Senate for a vote.