In the ten months since she’s entered Congress, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) has made improving women’s healthcare a legislative priority.
A former nurse, Underwood recently used a House Education & Labor Committee hearing on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to highlight the issues facing pregnant women at work, including: discrimination, unfair treatment, and the lack of paid maternity leave.
“This is wrong; no woman should have to choose between risking her job or risking her health,” Underwood said on Twitter.
In order to address the issues, Underwood recently said she will support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to provide protections for pregnant workers. The bill would require employers to make reasonable accommodations, such as a minor job modification, to allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out of their jobs or put on leave. The legislation would also ban employers from discriminating or taking “adverse actions” against pregnant employees or denying pregnant people employment opportunities.
Underwood and the rest of the Education & Labor Committee will soon hold a vote on whether to pass the bill out of committee, but Underwood’s vote is already known. “I look forward to advancing this bill to ensure women have the tools they need to maintain their jobs and their health while pregnant,” Underwood said on Twitter.