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senate Bill S. 1512

Do Pregnant Workers and Job Seekers Need Additional Accommodations?

Argument in favor

Women who are pregnant and either in the workforce or are looking for work shouldn’t face discrimination. The federal government needs to create and enforce these laws to ensure that pregnant women receive fair treatment in the workforce.

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10/14/2015
Whoever said that the answer to pregnant women entering the workforce is contraceptives is either blithely unaware that some people actually do enjoy children or that contraceptives don't always work. In short, think before you type ridiculous things on forums that have nothing to do with the issue being discussed.
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Nikki's Opinion
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11/26/2015
Apparently, the existing laws do not adequately protect pregnant workers. They are forced to take unpaid time if they can't perform their normal job functions. I work in a blue collar industry and I have seen this happen to coworkers. This bill would protect working class women
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operaman's Opinion
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09/18/2015
Job seekers and pregnant women should continue what they have been doing for millennia. Our Federal Government wants an excuse to start a new billion dollar program with hundreds of thousands of new employees to collect more billions in fines. Our National government no longer hides in dark places in D.C. Just look a the Socialist Presidential candidate Sander who is at least honest by telling the electorate of his $1,000,000,000,000 programs.
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Argument opposed

There are already discrimination laws that can be used to protect pregnant workers and job seekers, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This bill is well-intentioned, but unnecessary.

BTSundra's Opinion
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10/20/2015
Why should they be given any special treatment? Everybody struggles.
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David's Opinion
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03/18/2016
The problem is the use of the language in "reasonable accommodation". Workers and employers routinely disagree as to the nature of such accommodations. Experience tells us that regulators take such broad language and interpret it in ways that lawmakers never intended. The laws already on the books for protecting pregnant women in the workforce should be sufficient.
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MerIdaVal's Opinion
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10/26/2015
An employer should have the right to decide who they want as an employee. In a free country, employers have the right to be dirtbags. Don't like it? Don't buy their products or work there.
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What is Senate Bill S. 1512?

This bill would make it illegal for employers, labor unions, and employment agencies to deny work opportunities to pregnant jobseekers, or fail to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Reasonable accommodations could include minor job modifications that change a worker’s duties.


Specifically, it would be an illegal employment practice for employers, labor unions, and employment agencies to do the following:

  • Fail to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of job applicants or employees unless the accommodation would impose a hardship on the business’ operation;

  • Deny employment opportunities because the business would need to make such a reasonable accommodation;

  • Require job applicants or employees to accept an accommodation that they choose not to accept, if the accommodation is unnecessary to perform the job;

  • Require employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to their known limitations;

  • Take adverse action against an employee through the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against an employee requesting the reasonable accommodation.


Enforcement procedures and legal remedies would be established under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, and the rights and protections extended to presidential offices.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) would issue regulations to carry out this legislation. These regulations would include the identification of reasonable accommodations addressing known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.


State governments would not have immunity from claims filed under this act, as this bill includes a clause negating the sovereign immunity provided to states in the Eleventh Amendment.

Impact

Pregnant employees and job seekers; businesses, labor unions, and employment agencies; and relevant agencies at the federal and state level.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1512

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: The lead sponsor of this bill, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), believes that:

“No worker should live in fear that her job is at risk at risk simply because she’s pregnant. This is commonsense legislation that will finally provide pregnant workers the comprehensive workplace protections they deserve.”

Currently this bill enjoys a measure of bipartisan support, with 22 Democratic, three Republican and two Independent cosponsors.


Of Note: A recent Supreme Court ruling, Young v. United Parcel Service, found that employers cannot refuse to accommodate pregnant workers if they accommodate other temporary disabilities. The four liberal justices on the Supreme Court were joined by two of the more conservative justices -- Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts -- and based their decision on the text Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant workers, and requires that women be treated equally in all aspects of their work, including when they are experiencing a physical condition that prevents them from working as usual.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Kelly Hunter)

AKA

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Official Title

A bill to eliminate discrimination and promote women's health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedJune 4th, 2015
    Whoever said that the answer to pregnant women entering the workforce is contraceptives is either blithely unaware that some people actually do enjoy children or that contraceptives don't always work. In short, think before you type ridiculous things on forums that have nothing to do with the issue being discussed.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Why should they be given any special treatment? Everybody struggles.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Apparently, the existing laws do not adequately protect pregnant workers. They are forced to take unpaid time if they can't perform their normal job functions. I work in a blue collar industry and I have seen this happen to coworkers. This bill would protect working class women
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Job seekers and pregnant women should continue what they have been doing for millennia. Our Federal Government wants an excuse to start a new billion dollar program with hundreds of thousands of new employees to collect more billions in fines. Our National government no longer hides in dark places in D.C. Just look a the Socialist Presidential candidate Sander who is at least honest by telling the electorate of his $1,000,000,000,000 programs.
    Like (8)
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    Totally agree. Time this country looks at pregnancy as a part of life in work life. Need paid time off after and for delivery
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    Feminism ain't about equality. It's about doing it right this time. Treat women as well as you'd treat your wife, mother, or daughter.
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    An employer should have the right to decide who they want as an employee. In a free country, employers have the right to be dirtbags. Don't like it? Don't buy their products or work there.
    Like (2)
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    The problem is the use of the language in "reasonable accommodation". Workers and employers routinely disagree as to the nature of such accommodations. Experience tells us that regulators take such broad language and interpret it in ways that lawmakers never intended. The laws already on the books for protecting pregnant women in the workforce should be sufficient.
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    There are already laws for this kind of thing; I would also consider a pregnant employee you already have a more logical choice for accommodation than an applicant whom you may never even see again after the interview.
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    If it's a reasonable accommodation and the employee can still accomplish their core roles, then absolutely
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    Not a function of government to dictate
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    An employer should have the right to choose whether he hires a pregnant woman or not. He needs an employee that will be there to work. If he hires her, when she has the child, he is then forced to keep that position open for her for a period of time. If he doesn't have that employee to do that work, who is going to do it? You? He than has to hire temporary help and train them, after training this new employee who left after a few months to have a child. Then when she comes back he has to spend time to retrain her. This is not a viable option and very costly for many businesses.
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    Employers should be given a choice on their hiring and expectant mothers need time to recover from birth, so maternity leave should also be required to prepare an adequate home and adjusting to a new member in the home. I do not see any reason why someone more than 7 months pregnant wouldn't want to take time off.
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    Owners of businesses and job applicants must be free to choose, on their own, what exchange of value works for each of them and their situation.
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    Keep government out of business.
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    Makes sense.
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    Without these we're as good as a third world country.
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    Existing laws may cover this, but law enforcement needs a clarification.
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    Yes, because employers tend abuse the terms "reasonable accommodation" and "other duties as assigned" the language needs to be revamped to say something in effect as to what ever as doctors, physician's and/or practioner recommends. Employers would rather violate the employee because the employer knows and abuses the grievance process.
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    This is a no-brainier! We need to have workplaces that take the needs of workers into account -- ALL workers!
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