Washington State House Democrats


Pregnant Worker Fairness Act passes the House

Legislative News from Representative Jessyn Farrell (D-Seattle, 46th LD)

February 4, 2016

Pregnant Worker Fairness Act passes the House

OLYMPIA – House Bill 2307, sponsored by Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, passed out of the House today on a 52-45 vote, garnering support from Democrats and Republicans. The Pregnant Worker Fairness Act will provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace for pregnant women.

“No woman should be forced to choose between keeping her job and having a safe, healthy pregnancy,” said Farrell. “Today, my colleagues in the House approved this common-sense measure to give pregnant women the tools and legal recourse needed to require employers to make accommodations.”

House Bill 2307 will require employers, who have more than eight employees, to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, pregnancy-related health conditions. The accommodations requested are usually routine and relatively minor such as needing an extra bathroom break, a stool, or a water bottle. Employers would not be required to provide accommodations if the accommodations would cause the employer undue hardship.

“Given the culture of today’s workplaces, it was challenging even for me, a legislator, to get the accommodations I needed when I was pregnant,” continued Farrell. “But I was able to speak up for myself and challenge the negative stereotypes associated with pregnant women and their abilities. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for someone who works in a warehouse or a grocery store to advocate for her health and the health of her pregnancy.”

Providing reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers leads to better birth outcomes, healthier moms and babies, less turnover in the workplace, and more opportunities for women, especially women of color, who are more likely to work in low-wage, physically-demanding jobs.

The bill now goes to the Senate.