Democrat lawmaker introduces protections for pregnant workers

WYOMING – Democrat Representative Mike Yin-D (Teton) introduced a bill today that would expand discrimination and unfair employment practice protections to include pregnancy and childbirth-related issues.

House Bill 200 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, as well as prohibits negative action against employees or potential employees for issues relating to pregnancy or recent childbirth.

“Women who have chosen to have a family should not face hardships or discrimination because of that choice. Asking employers to make fair and reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees is not only in the public interest, but simply the right thing to do,” Yin said.

The bill also requires employers to provide private, non-bathroom space in which mothers may express breast milk.

While the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act has provided some of these same protections since 1978, it includes an exemption for companies with fewer than 15 employees. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require accommodations for pregnancies that do not qualify as disabilities under the Act, leaving an even bigger lapse in protections for pregnancies.

HB200 provides no such exemptions or exclusions, although it does offer guidelines for determining what constitutes an undue burden for employers.

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