CBP Advocates for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

By: Attorney Shannon Polvi

Pregnant workers gained additional protections in 2023. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) is a new law that goes into effect on June 27, 2023. The PWFA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and post-partum workers who need them.

It is estimated that three-quarters of women entering the workforce today will be pregnant and employed at some point during their careers. The 44th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act recently passed, yet we have a long way to go to protect pregnant and post-partum women in the United States. History has shown that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was not enough to protect pregnant women. Former and current pregnant and post-partum workers in South Carolina, and around the United States, have been forced out of work because their employer refused to temporarily accommodate their pregnancy needs.

As a woman, I have always felt personally invested in the fight for pregnant workers’ rights. I have represented pregnant women continuously throughout my years of practice. It is a sad fact that mistreatment of pregnant and post-partum women is a reoccurring problem in South Carolina.

There was a coalition of people who brought this PWFA idea to fruition. I was a contributor helping to make this change for women. In collaboration with the National Women’s Law Center, one of my cases was described to Congress as an example of the real-life experiences of pregnant women in the United States. Four of my pregnant and post-partum clients signed onto a public letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging him to pass the PWFA. You can read it here: Open Letter: 125+ Mothers Urge Leader Schumer to Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (New York Times Ad) – A Better Balance.

I am so proud of these women! I am honored to advocate for pregnant and post-partum workers when their rights have been violated.

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