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101 House Republicans vote against protections for pregnant workers

As the GOP claims to be ‘pro-life,’ nearly half of House Republicans voted against preventing pregnant workers from discrimination.

By Emily Singer - May 14, 2021
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Kat Cammack
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 6: Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., puts on protective gear as protesters attempt to disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One hundred and one House Republicans on Friday voted against the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, a bill that seeks to prevent pregnant people from being discriminated against in the workplace.

Even though nearly half of the GOP conference voted against it the bill still passed, 315-101 — with votes of support from every Democratic member of the House.

“My bill, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, would deliver fairness and dignity to so many workers across America,” House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who sponsored the bill, said Friday ahead of the bill’s passage. “By providing reasonable accommodations — a glass of water, a stool, an extended break — it’ll make a vast difference for pregnant workers.”

The legislation bans employers from:

  • Refusing to make “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers;
  • Denying opportunities to pregnant workers based on their pregnancies or child birth;
  • Forcing workers to take leave if reasonable accommodations can be made for pregnant workers to stay on the job;
  • And taking adverse action against a pregnant worker who requests reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy or childbirth.

Current law does not require employers to make reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, according to the New York Times.

The 101 no votes from Republicans — which amounts to nearly half of the 212 members of the GOP conference — came even though these same Republicans claim to be “pro-life.”

In April, 211 of the 212 GOP lawmakers in Congress tried to force a vote on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” — a bill that seeks to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

Doctors say the bill is unnecessary and seeks to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. It also is already a crime to deny medical care for a newborn baby.

Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL), who sought to force a vote on the “Born Alive” bill, was one of the 101 House Republicans who voted against added protections for pregnant women.

Pregnancy discrimination still remains an issue in the United States.

In October 2020, pregnant women at an Amazon facility in Oklahoma spoke out to Vice News, saying the company did not approve of changes in assignment for pregnant warehouse workers at risk of miscarriage.

And in September 2019, UPS settled a pregnancy discrimination case, in which workers had not been allowed to take lighter-duty assignments for pregnant women.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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