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Fairness for pregnant workers has added impact of preventing litigation

Basic safeguards for pregnant working women are not only common sense and the law of the land in a growing number of states and cities, from Rhode Island and Minnesota to Nebraska and West Virginia, but they can also prevent costly litigation. After passage of legislation in California similar to the Pregnant Workers Fairness bill that was endorsed in “Time to end pregnancy discrimination in Mass.” (Editorial, July 20), the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed under state law there actually decreased, while similar claims were increasing across the country.

In New York City, where the law has guaranteed pregnant workers the right to reasonable accommodations since 2014, we have successfully counseled dozens of women to advocate for themselves on the job, avoiding escalation of conflict and helping them secure the adjustments they need to stay healthy and employed, without prolonged delays. Massachusetts should be the next state to realize the public health and economic benefits of ensuring basic fairness for pregnant workers.

Dina Bakst

Copresident and cofounder

Phoebe Taubman
Senior staff attorney
A Better Balance:
The Work and Family
Legal Center
New York