WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded House passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and urges swift passage in the Senate. The bipartisan bill (H.R. 1065) was approved by a vote of 315-101 including 99 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. “Protections for pregnant workers help keep people employed, and this is a balanced approach to protecting the rights of pregnant employees and the interests of 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. I urge the U.S. Senate to pass this legislation swiftly.”
The U.S. Chamber joined a broad coalition including BASF Corporation, Dow, the National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, H.R. Policy Association, International Franchise Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, and others 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.” Read the full letter and joint press release from the coalition.
Before today's House vote, the U.S. Chamberwrote 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.” Members of Congress who co-sponsored the PWFA will receive credit for the Leadership component of the Chamber’s annual “How They Voted” scorecard. The Chamber will also consider adding the final vote to the scorecard. The U.S. Chamber, along with advocates for pregnant employees applaud the bill’s passage.