LINCOLN, Neb. – Call it a reverse Mother’s Day gift. Staff members from the ACLU of Nebraska, Heartland Workers Center and Women’s Fund of Omaha delivered flowers and cards to Rep. Don Bacon and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s congressional district offices this morning to thank them for cosponsoring the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065).
A House vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is scheduled for next week. The federal legislation would require businesses to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, mirroring protections that became law in Nebraska more than five years ago.
Sponsors say their goal is to prevent pregnant workers from being pushed out of their jobs when basic temporary accommodations could allow them to remain productive employees and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
“As a mom and a civil rights attorney, I am excited to kick off Mother’s Day weekend by thanking Rep. Bacon and Rep. Fortenberry for their leadership on behalf of pregnant workers and new moms,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad. “I am hopeful we will also see support for this common-sense bipartisan legislation from our U.S. senators. These protections are right for Nebraska and they’re right for the nation because no one should have to choose between their job and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.”
“Nebraska was a leader in providing health accommodations to expectant working mothers so we are happy to see our national leaders supporting a bill to guarantee those protections nationally,” said Micky Devitt, Heartland Workers Center’s legal and policy coordinator. “We want to thank Congressmen Bacon and Fortenberry for their support of this bill on behalf of Nebraska’s working moms. We hope Nebraska’s Senators will follow that lead!"
“Welcoming a new child can be an incredibly joyous time, and it can also bring tremendous economic uncertainty,” said Kelsey Waldron, Women’s Fund of Omaha policy and research associate. “As families are preparing for that day, parents must be supported with common-sense pregnancy accommodations in their workplaces.”
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. Last week, Senator Bob Casey (D – PA), Senator Bill Cassidy (R – LA), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D- NH), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R – WV), Senator Tina Smith (D – MN), and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – AK) introduced the bill in the Senate (S.1486).