WREN Update: Pregnancy Accommodations
by WREN Staff on Feb 21, 2017
Providing a safe and inclusive workplace atmosphere to pregnant employees is crucial in maintaining a sustainable, healthy and productive workforce.
Women must often stay employed throughout their pregnancy in order to sufficiently support themselves, and their families. In fact, two out of three South Carolina women who gave birth last year were employed. Yet in spite of this, current laws do not adequately protect expecting mothers in the workforce. As South Carolinians, we must stand to ensure the right to fair, low-cost or no-cost accommodations for pregnant employees.
This session, WREN will be addressing the well-being of expecting mothers in the workforce by introducing the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act. This Act would:
- Guarantee pregnant women and women recovering from childbirth are provided reasonable workplace accommodations;
- Add lactation as a protected category so that nursing mothers can pump breast milk;
- Protect employees from having to accept unwanted or unnecessary accommodations, including forced time off if accommodations can be provided; and
- Require employers to notify employees of their rights while pregnant.
Examples of simple and straightforward accommodations include: having more frequent restroom breaks, avoiding heavy lifting, and being able to have breaks to pump breast milk after the baby is born. These accommodations would be of little to no cost to employers and would improve employee retention and health, and would only be temporary.
Together, we can fight to ensure an inclusive and efficient workforce.
In order for this bill to be successful, WREN needs your help and support. If you know of any potential partner organizations or supportive businesses, or have a story of your own you’d like to share, please email email@example.com.