“South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act” drops in House with bipartisan support
Feb 28, 2017
Columbia, SC – February 28, 2017 The “South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act” was introduced in the South Carolina House Representatives today with the support of Representatives Beth Bernstein, Greg Delleney and Robert Ridgeway.
The legislation aims to help pregnant employees continue to work safely throughout their pregnancy by ensuring they can receive temporary and reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions – such as sitting on a stool rather than standing, or getting peer assistance with heavy lifting.
Current federal laws addressing pregnancy discrimination, leave and disability in the workplace are limited and the South Carolina Human Affairs law does not directly address pregnancy accommodations. The “South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act” would grant employees the right to reasonable accommodations so long as they do not place an undue burden on the employer, as well as protect employees from having to accept unwanted accommodations or take leave when a reasonable accommodation can be provided.
Nearly two-thirds of women in South Carolina who gave birth in the last year were employed. While not every pregnant woman in the workforce will require accommodations, those that do risk their health, the health of their child or a loss of income if their employer refuses to provide necessary accommodations.
“Passing the ‘South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act’ is a small step the General Assembly can take to make a large impact on South Carolina’s working families who increasingly depend on women’s wages,” said Ann Warner, CEO of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN).