Protecting pregnant women from workplace discrimination is an essential part of reproductive freedom. This advocacy is a crucial part of the work we do every day to ensure a woman’s choices are her own—not warped by unfair and discriminatory workplace policies.
Unfortunately, in Virginia, pregnant women can be shut out of the workforce simply for needing a bottle of water at their desk, a chair to sit on or even an extra bathroom break during the workday. Discrimination also affects women who are seeking new employment, as pregnant job applicants may fear that disclosing their pregnancy could cost them the job. When employers do not provide reasonable accommodations for expectant mothers, women can be forced to choose between a paycheck and starting or growing their family.
This year, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is working to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to address the very real problem of pregnancy discrimination in the Commonwealth.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would protect pregnant people from workplace discrimination. This is an essential part of reproductive freedom that expands the rights of pregnant workers in Virginia. The bill would establish that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees and cannot fire a pregnant person for pregnancy-related medical conditions.
Women make up almost half of our nation’s labor force, and 40 percent of women are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families. When women choose to have children, their employers should respect that choice, not discriminate against them. This means accommodating the needs of pregnant women at work, and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is dedicated to making this a reality for women in the Commonwealth.