Policy Hearing - Need for Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG, October 1, 2021 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, will join state Sens. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks) to host a public hearing on Tuesday in Plymouth Meeting to discuss the need for workplace accommodations for pregnant Pennsylvanians.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, October 5 at 10 a.m. at the headquarters the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776 located at 3031-A Walton Road in Plymouth Meeting.  The hearing will take place in-person but will also accommodate virtual participation. Virtual participants can register on Zoom by clicking here.

“Too many times, we hear horror stories from pregnant Pennsylvanians whose employers are not making any accommodations to protect the health and well-being of these pregnant employees,” Muth said. “I am grateful that Senator Cappelletti and Senator Schwank are leading the charge on this important issue in the Senate to ensure that pregnant Pennsylvanians no longer face discrimination in the workplace.”

The Policy Committee hearing will focus on Senator Cappelletti’s Senate Bill 716, which make it unlawful for an employer to refuse an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would represent an undue hardship to the employer

“In Pennsylvania, we don’t do enough to protect pregnant workers,” Cappelletti added. “I’m glad that we will be hearing from experts about how reasonable accommodations can help pregnant people and businesses.”

Currently, twelve states have passed legislation requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees.

“Workplace accommodations are a critical maternal health measure and one of the many ways we can address the maternal health crisis in Pennsylvania. These measures often come at low or no-cost and employers profit from reduced turnover and increased productivity,” Schwank said. “At a time when the pandemic has forced far too many women of childbearing age to leave the workforce because of family care obligations, workplace accommodations for pregnant women and new parents are increasingly important to economic success.”

Confirmed participants in the Policy Committee Hearing include Marianne Fray, CEO, Maternity Care Coalition; Sophia Elliot, Legal Fellow, Women’s Law Project; Kerin Kohler, Social Worker, Women’s Health Center; and Brittney Rodas, Legislative & Political Representative, UFCW Local 1776.

The hearing will also be livestreamed at SenatorMuth.com/Policy and the PA Senate Democratic Caucus Facebook page. 

Media participation is encouraged.

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