September 18, 2020
HR Policy urged Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which would ensure “employers have clear and flexible options to ensure pregnant employees can remain at work for as long as they wish to do so.”
The House passed the PWFA (H.R. 2694) with a 329 to 73 vote. 103 Republicans voted for the measure.
The PWFA uses an interactive, reasonable accommodation process similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act and specifies a pregnant employee may take leave only after the employer and employee have exhausted the possibility of other reasonable accommodations.
The coalition letter, spearheaded by HR Policy and joined by six other trade associations, also noted the legislation “is a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy” and “is a strong reminder that through good faith negotiations, legislative solutions to important workplace questions and problems can be found.”
Outlook: Despite broad bipartisan support in the House, the PWFA is unlikely to gain any traction in the Senate this year, which will leave the issue for the next Congress to consider in 2021.