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Improved Protections for Pregnant Workers Unanimously Passes the Connecticut Senate
June 6, 2017 – On the penultimate day of the General Assembly session of 2017, the Connecticut Senate showed that there is strong support for women’s rights in Connecticut by unanimously passing H.B. 6668, a bill to improve workplace protections for pregnant women. The bill had been passed in the House on May 23.
H.B. 6668, An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace, is a vital part of the economic stability of our state. We must do all we can to ensure continuity of employment for working mothers. Women can least afford to lose their job when pregnant, particularly for need of a short-term accommodation.
H.B. 6668 makes clear the types of accommodations usually required by pregnant women (including assistance with manual labor, more frequent or longer breaks, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or less hazardous work). The bill also protects women from being discriminated against when pregnant, including barring employers from forcing an employee to take an accommodation that she does not require while pregnant. In Connecticut the median annual earnings of mothers are $23,000 below those of fathers. Mothers make just 70 cents on the dollar in comparison to fathers. Nationally, Black mothers are paid just 51 cents on the dollar, and Latina mothers 46 cents on the dollar, for every dollar made by white, non-Hispanic fathers. H.B. 6668 will help reduce these stark disparities.
This bill was part of a package of proactive legislation originally sponsored by Senator Mae Flexer alongside Representatives Robyn Porter, Caroline Simmons, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Liz Linehan, Kelly Luxenberg, and Christine Conley. Senate co-chair of the Labor Committee, Senator Ed Gomes, introduced the bill, and Senator Mae Flexer spoke about the importance of this legislation.
Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "Each day, women in our state face issues at work due to the need for minor accommodations, or face discrimination in their workplace. This bill will help secure economic security for women in our state through strengthening their ability to work in the way that they need – with or without accommodations – when pregnant. Pregnancy is a time when women can least afford to lose their jobs, and we are delighted to see that our legislature have recognized this and passed this legislation. We urge the Governor to sign this bill into law.”
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About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.