PRESS RELEASE - Legal Momentum's New Tool Tracks Pregnancy Discrimination Laws, Breastfeeding and Leave Rights

PRESS RELEASE - Legal Momentum's New Tool Tracks Pregnancy Discrimination Laws, Breastfeeding and Leave Rights

Date: 
July 11, 2013
Media Contact: 

                        Michelle Caiola 
mcai
ola@legalmomentum.org
212.413.7534; cell, 914.325.7013

New York, NY (July 11, 2013)—Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest nonprofit advocating for the legal rights of women in America, announced the publication of an interactive user-friendly map providing a state-by-state guide to pregnancy discrimination laws in the US.  The guide also includes information about rights pertaining to breastfeeding and pregnancy leave.  The map can be accessed at Legal Momentum’s website.  Legal Momentum has also developed a companion publication outlining the same rights, but with more detail and statutory text.  

“We developed this map because there is no consistency from state to state in how pregnant employees are treated under the law with regards to pregnancy discrimination, accommodation, leave and breastfeeding,” said Senior Staff Attorney Michelle Caiola.  “We intend for this map to be an important resource for employees who may need to approach their company regarding their rights, as well as for employers, human resources personnel, and attorneys developing workplace policies.” 

The information in the map and chart covers state laws as applied to: the right to request workplace accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions, the right to request pregnancy-related and family leave, breastfeeding rights in general and leave laws.

The federal law on pregnancy discrimination, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), will be 35 years-old in October of this year.  However, as more attention is focused on state and federal cases involving pregnancy accommodations, the gaps in the PDA have become glaringly apparent.  Several recent federal court decisions demonstrate that the PDA rarely protects a pregnant worker needing an accommodation of the same type given to workers with disabilities.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) was re-introduced into Congress this year.  Legal Momentum had been involved in the drafting of the bill.  The bill requires employers to accommodate the demands of pregnancy unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship.  While some employers already engage in such consideration for pregnant employees, the PWFA would mandate the protection.  A handful of states have or are considering similar protections.

In addition, there has been increased attention and activity towards codifying rights related to breastfeeding and expanding family leave, both at the federal and state level. 

Please contact us for more information on the state of pregnancy discrimination laws, and our work with employees who have faced pregnancy discrimination on the job.  Legal Momentum has long been in the forefront in the battle for workplace rights for women, and is currently focusing on helping women in low-wage jobs and women attempting to make inroads in occupations from which females historically have been excluded.

About Legal Momentum 
Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law.  For more information visit www.legalmomentum.org  

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About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law. For more information visit www.legalmomentum.org.

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