(Via the Washington Work and Family Coalition) One of every 10 babies born in Washington now are low birth weight or premature. State legislators are close to passing a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (ESSB 6149), which will help more babies arrive healthy and thriving by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant women.
Unfortunately, some special-interest groups are trying to weaken the bill by limiting those accommodations to a restrictive list, and exempting non-profit organizations (like many hospitals, other service providers, and well-heeled cultural institutions) where women make up a majority of employees.
Time is running out to get a strong bill passed before the end of the legislative session. Your legislators need to hear from you, and pronto!
Most women can work well into their pregnancies with only minor accommodations, such as temporary assignment to light duty, additional food or bathroom breaks, or the ability to carry a water bottle or sit while working.
But employers and employees need flexibility when determining what accommodations will work in a particular situation. And no woman should have to choose between keeping her job or keeping herself and her baby healthy.
Please urge your legislators to pass a strong bill that allows flexible accommodations and doesn’t exclude large numbers of working women.