Groups call for passage of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Volunteers of America Mid-States Hosts Press Conference on the Issue
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – In a virtual press conference Tuesday, prominent Kentucky advocates called on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and leaders in Washington to support working mothers by advancing the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S.1486) toward final Senate passage.
Supporters of the legislation explained that pregnant workers need modest accommodations, like a stool to sit on or a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting, to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would use a process similar to the one in place for workers with disabilities to provide expecting and new mothers with reasonable support.
“Together we can get this legislation across the finish line,” said Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States. “At Volunteers of America Mid-States, we care deeply about those who are the most vulnerable of our communities. We also care about creating an inclusive community, society and workforce; and we believe it’s up to us to make this possible.”
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support earlier this year and was approved by a committee in the U.S. Senate. Panelists on today’s call urged leaders in Kentucky and Washington to make the final push on the bill and make these protections law nationwide.
Kentucky State Representative Norma McCormick added that legislation like the Pregnant Workers Act is what drove her to public office. In 2019, Kentucky legislators passed the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which provided protection for expecting mothers in our workforce, guaranteeing them a safe day’s work. “The success we have seen in Kentucky must serve as model for our nation.”
When considering the importance of this legislation, Alecia Webb-Edgington, President of the Life Learning Center said, “No family should have to choose between a safe pregnancy and a job. A more inclusive economy is an economy that is ready to grow and provide the services our nation needs.”
Jason Hall, Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, added that not only does this legislation make sense for the economy, it reaffirms society’s commitment to safe and healthy pregnancies. “This legislation is strongly pro-life and pro-family and provides our nation with an opportunity to affirm the importance of healthy pregnancies.”