Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded House passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694), which was approved by a vote of 329 - 73, including 103 Republicans.
This legislation would clarify an employer’s obligation to accommodate a pregnant employee or applicant with a known limitation that interferes with her ability to perform some essential functions of her position.
“Today’s passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is good news for women in the workplace, families, and businesses across the country,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Neil Bradley. “By establishing clear guidelines and balancing the needs of workers and employers, this legislation will allow businesses to keep valued employees in the workplace, help ensure healthy pregnancies, and remove legal ambiguities that have led to litigation. This is what happens when Republicans and Democrats work together and I urge the U.S. Senate to take up this bipartisan legislation swiftly.”
The U.S. Chamber joined a broad coalition including the National Retail Federation, H.R. Policy Association, International Franchise Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management in advocating for this legislation. In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, the group wrote, “This bipartisan bill is a strong reminder that through good faith negotiations, legislative solutions to important workplace questions and problems can be found.” Click here to read the full letter.
“Through our coalition efforts, we saw firsthand what happens when both sides of the aisle come together,” Bradley added. “I’d like to thank our partners for their tireless work in bringing more clarity and certainty to America’s workplace.”
Before today's House vote, the U.S. Chamber wrote to lawmakers in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act saying, “The PWFA takes advantage of the widely known and accepted interactive process associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that is used to find reasonable accommodations for employees covered by the ADA, and also carries forward the 15-or-more-employee threshold from the ADA.” The Chamber will consider adding this bill to its annual “How They Voted” scorecard. In January of 2020, the U.S. Chamber, along with advocates for pregnant employees, applauded the bill’s passage from the House Committee on Education and Labor.