(WWLP) – A bill that extends protections to pregnant women at work cleared the House Ways and Means Committee Monday afternoon.
The bill ensures pregnant women have certain protections no matter where they work, even though most employers already offer them.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo has been pushing to get the Pregnant Workers’ Right Act approved, after it failed the last time. The bill requires employers to give pregnant workers more frequent paid or unpaid breaks, more frequent bathroom breaks, and more opportunities to do light labor.
Liz Friedman, of the Coalition for Pregnant Worker’s Fairness, spearheaded the bill, after talking with pregnant women who experienced health complications at work because they weren’t given these accommodations.
“There’s been no protections, and what I’ve said to them is ‘We have nothing,'” Friedman said. “Come next week, when the house has an opportunity to vote for this on Wednesday, and we’ll take it through the final steps of the process, we’ll finally be able to say to them, ‘You’re protected.'”
The bill ensures these accommodations will cost little to nothing for employers. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.
More than a dozen states across the country have already passed similar bills.