With the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) going into effect last week, our Gender Avenger of the Month is the organization behind this new piece of legislation, A Better Balance!
What is A Better Balance?
Since 2005, A Better Balance has been providing legal services, public education, and has written and passed critical legislation protecting women in the workplace. In addition to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, ABB has helped pass local and state laws for paid sick time, paid family and medical leave, and other policies that protect women and caregivers from discrimination at work.
The PWFA, which went into effect on June 27th, requires employers with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers and those who just returned to the workforce after childbirth. The law provides similar protections to what workers with disabilities get under federal law. ABB has been working to pass this law since 2012, meaning it has taken Congress far too long to pass this important piece of legislation.
Accommodations can include light duty, extra breaks, and special chairs and equipment. The law also covers lactation and needed accommodations for childbirth recovery. And most importantly, it protects workers from discrimination and retaliation when they request these accommodations.
Know Your Rights
ABB’s state-by-state Workplace Rights Guide outlines exactly what protections women (and men) have at work when it comes to sick leave, pregnancy, needing time off for caregiving and more.
If you think your rights have been violated, or if you are facing discrimination over accommodations, call 1-833-NEED-ABB (1-833-633-3222) or fill out their helpline form. ABB also helps students who might be facing similar discrimination at school.
A Call to Action
ABB Senior Staff Attorney Kameron Dawson shared this powerful call to action at AIT’s Black Women Lead earlier this month.
If you want to get more involved with the work of A Better Balance, check out their action alerts. Or if you are someone who has experience with any of these issues and are interested in sharing your story, you can join ABB’s Community Advocates Program. Nervous about sharing your story and wondering where to start? Check out AIT’s resources on telling your personal story for impact.