April 15, 2024 

Contact: William Lutz 202-785-5100 

Washington, DC — Dr. Jamila K. Taylor, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s release of a strong final regulation for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act:  

“Today’s robust rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a major step forward for both worker protections and gender equity. The announcement of the final rule is particularly poignant, coming in the final days of Black Maternal Health Week. Black women are 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, and they are also over-represented in the low wage workforce. Today’s regulation is key policy tool to ensure that all pregnant people can support their families without jeopardizing their health or their pregnancy. 

Women form the backbone of our economy, and no woman should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and keeping her job. For many pregnant people, the differences between a healthy pregnancy and a precarious one are as simple as less time on their feet, extra bathroom breaks, time to eat and drink, or time off for medical appointmentsaccommodations that every employer can make and that every worker deserves. Today’s strong rule is a key step toward making these protections a reality for all women, fulfilling the promise of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by protecting the rights of pregnant and postpartum workers.”  

Today’s regulations are part of the implementation of the Pregnant Worker’ Fairness Act, legislation that was passed in December 2022 and requires employers to make reasonable accommodation for pregnant workers. These protections are badly needed: between 2015 and 2021, there were over 20,000 pregnancy discrimination charges reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

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The Institute for Women’s Policy Research strives to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. As a leading national think tank, IWPR builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families.