The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, legislation that would make it easier for women to receive reasonable accommodations when pregnancy affects their ability to work, passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support on Thursday. Congressman Chris Smith voted for the bill and celebrated it passing.
“Discrimination against pregnant women anywhere—especially and including in the workforce—is despicable,” said Smith. “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act clarifies and expands existing anti-discrimination laws by requiring employers provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers including the ability to sit while working or take water or bathroom breaks as needed.
It is especially critical as we struggle with COVID-19 and its impact on the economy that pregnant workers in a physical workplace do not face loss of employment or working conditions that jeopardize health or safety. Women should not have to choose between their and their child’s health or their job,” said Smith.
“The passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is long overdue. I applaud its passage in the House and hope that the Senate will take up this important piece of legislation to ensure pregnant workers are treated fairly and with accommodations that protect their health,” added Smith.
Smith’s support of this bill is consistent with his long record of standing for women.
He is a supporter of paid family and medical leave and is a cosponsor of the FAMILY Act (HR 1185) which would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from an illness, or to care for a family member.
During the current 116th Congress, Smith also voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 7), to provide women with equal pay for equal work.
Additionally, Congressman Smith voted twice for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which changed the timeframe for a woman or any employee to file an employment discrimination charge and receive compensation.