A coalition of labor unions, health care organizations and advocacy groups on Wednesday made public a letter sent this week to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging him to back a bill that is meant to aid workers who are affected by pregnancy or the birth of a child.
“Around the country, pregnant workers, disproportionately low-wage working women of color, are continuing to be forced out of work or forced to risk their health because this country has no federal law providing an affirmative right to pregnancy accommodations,” the letter to Schumer stated.
Signing on to the effort for the bill's passage includes a range of prominent unions in New York and advocacy organizations: 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, RWDSU, CWA District 1, the New York Civil Liberties Union, New York State Nurses Association, Make the Road, NOW NY, and the Workers Center of Central New York.
The campaign for the measure's approval is being led by "A Better Balance," a national legal group based in New York.
The measure is meant to build on previous laws that have bolster rights of pregnant workers and their families. It would bar employment practices seen as discriminatory against making "reasonable accommodations" for those are affected by pregnancy.
The bill would outlaw the denial of job opportunities based on the need of the employer to make the accommodations to a worker as well as retaliate against the worker. At the same time, the bill does include a hardship provision if an employer cannot fulfill the request.