Better pregnant worker protections?

Jun 08, 2015

BY: Citizens Count

New Hampshire's Senators Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D) are cosponsoring the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.

Current law prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees, but does not explicitly require employers to make accommodations.  The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is modeled after the Americans With Disabilities Act, giving pregnant women access to the sort of job modifications an employer is obligated to give an employee with a temporary injury. 

Accommodations could include more frequent bathroom breaks, lighter work duty, or a stool to sit on while working at a cash register.

"Women shouldn’t have to choose between their job and being pregnant," said Shaheen.

Some bill opponents believe that the law would burden employers and open them to unnecessary lawsuits.  Other bill opponents believe that pregnancy should not be treated the same as temporary injuries, because pregnancy is voluntary.

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Jeanne Shaheen
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Senator, U.S. Senate (2008 - present); NH Governor (1996 - 2002)

Kelly Ayotte
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Former Senator, US Senate (2011 - 2016); NH Attorney General (2004 - 2009)

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