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Walberg, Noem Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Protections for Pregnant Women

March 7, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Kristi Noem (SD-AL) today introduced H.R. 5194, the Pregnancy Discrimination Amendment Act, to strengthen protections for pregnant women in the workplace. The legislation modernizes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 by clarifying that a pregnant worker in a similar ability or inability to perform a duty due to the pregnancy shall be treated the same as a non-pregnant worker in terms of accommodation.
“The Pregnancy Discrimination Act has been offering important safeguards for 40 years, and we need to remove any ambiguity in the law to ensure expecting mothers can continue to count on these protections,” said Rep. Walberg. “Our bill empowers working women, promotes workplace flexibility, and protects against discrimination and unequal treatment in the workplace.”
“South Dakota has one of the nation’s highest rates of working moms,” said Rep. Noem. “I firmly believe we need to do more to strengthen families, a mission that begins from the very beginnings of parenthood. Expectant mothers ought to be given some level of flexibility during their pregnancy so they can continue working and supporting their families. I’m proud that our legislation takes a balanced approach, protecting mothers and strengthening families without imposing duplicative burdens on their employers.”
In recent years it has become apparent that the PDA is in need of greater clarity. This reality was highlighted in the case of Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., where the Supreme Court wrote an unclear opinion over a central provision of the PDA.