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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a decline in U.S pregnancies and prompted a lot of girls to decide out of the workforce.
Now, a bipartisan proposal in Congress goals to alleviate the hurdles pregnant girls face in order that they will keep of their jobs.
On Wednesday, Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Invoice Cassidy, R-La., urged their fellow lawmakers to go the laws that has been launched in each Congress since 2011, in accordance with the Bipartisan Coverage Middle.
The invoice, referred to as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was handed by the Home of Representatives 315 to 101 final Could.
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It was subsequently superior by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in August with a 19 to 2 vote.
“We’re working with colleagues to get it handed and signed into regulation this yr,” Cassidy mentioned Wednesday throughout a webinar hosted by the Bipartisan Coverage Middle.
The invoice would require employers to make cheap lodging in order that pregnant girls can proceed to work.
“At its coronary heart, this invoice is about supporting pregnant girls and their households,” Casey mentioned. “It is also about fundamental financial safety, together with dignity and compassion for pregnant staff.”
The invoice would require employers to offer “easy and cheap lodging” for pregnant staff corresponding to a water bottle, stool to sit down on or better-fitting uniform, Casey mentioned.
Congress handed the Being pregnant Discrimination Act in 1978. That regulation prevents girls from being denied jobs or getting fired for being pregnant. But it surely doesn’t require employers to offer cheap lodging in order that expectant moms can proceed working.
Whereas a 2015 Supreme Court docket determination acknowledged the necessity for momentary lodging for pregnant staff, it got here with an advanced take a look at to show discrimination, lawmakers who assist the invoice argue.
Presently, about 30 states have enacted laws addressing this subject. However that also leaves thousands and thousands of feminine staff with out safety, Cassidy mentioned.
“The premise of the invoice may be very easy,” Casey mentioned. “No pregnant employee needs to be handled adversely with respect to their employment just because they’re pregnant.”
The invoice has different co-sponsors from either side of the aisle, together with Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Susan Collins of Maine.
It additionally has assist from Senate Democrats together with Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.
The bipartisan push comes as Democrats have struggled to get the Construct Again Higher invoice, which incorporates provisions for baby care and paid household depart, handed by the Senate by a easy majority referred to as reconciliation.
On the identical time, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the difficulties many ladies face in juggling work and motherhood.
That has prompted a drop in U.S. birth rates as many ladies decide to delay having youngsters, the Middle for Retirement Analysis at Boston School has discovered.
Nevertheless, even earlier than the pandemic, the age of motherhood was rising. That’s due partially to the truth that many ladies face what’s often known as a “motherhood penalty,” the place their earnings are decreased with every baby they’ve.