State Representative Jessyn Farrell: Help pregnant women stay in the workforce

Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-46

State Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-46

[Via The Seattle Times] As a working mom to three young kids, I was fortunate to have a job that allowed me to make the changes I needed to stay on the job during my pregnancies. As a legislator, though, I know that not all women are so fortunate [“Accommodating pregnant workers is key step toward gender equality,” Opinion, Dec. 29].

Pregnant workers, particularly those who work physically demanding jobs, need temporary accommodations during pregnancy, such as more frequent restroom breaks, time off for prenatal-care appointments and temporary reassignment to lighter-duty tasks during the final months of pregnancy.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, would allow pregnant women to stay in the workforce without risking their own health or the health of their babies.

Republicans in the state Senate have sought to water down this critical bill by reducing the number of businesses that would have to follow the law and by limiting accommodations to a short, prescriptive list that doesn’t take into account many potential pregnancy-related conditions. Some 40 percent of pregnant workers required accommodations that are not included on this list.

I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to approve this common-sense legislation without excessive exemptions and prescriptive lists, and ensure that no woman has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck.

~State Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle

Ed. Note: Encourage your legislators to support a strong Pregnant Worker Fairness Act here

This entry was posted in Pregnant Worker Fairness on by .

About waworkfam

The Washington Work and Family Coalition includes representatives of seniors, women, labor, health professionals, children’s advocates, faith communities, low income workers, employers, non-profits and other organizations. We’re working together to make it easier for parents to raise healthy children and care for aging parents; for workers to care for themselves or their partners in the event of a serious illness; and for businesses to offer modern workplace standards that improve productivity and worker health.

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