U.S. Representatives Kristi Noem (SD-AL) and Tim Walberg (MI-07) today introduced H.R. 5194, the Pregnancy Discrimination Amendment Act, to strengthen protections for pregnant women in the workplace. The legislation modernizes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 by clarifying that a pregnant worker should be treated the same as a non-pregnant worker who may have a temporary disability and is therefore unable to perform certain duties.  

“South Dakota has one of the nation’s highest rates of working moms,” said Rep. Noem. “I firmly believe we need to do more to strengthen families, a mission that begins from the very beginnings of parenthood. Expectant mothers ought to be given some level of flexibility during their pregnancy so they can continue working and supporting their families. I’m proud that our legislation takes a balanced approach, protecting mothers and strengthening families without imposing duplicative burdens on their employers.”

“The Pregnancy Discrimination Act has been offering important safeguards for 40 years, and we need to remove any ambiguity in the law to ensure expecting mothers can continue to count on these protections,” said Rep. Walberg. “Our bill empowers working women, promotes workplace flexibility, and protects against discrimination and unequal treatment in the workplace.”

The legislation provides much-needed protections in light of a recent Supreme Court decision, Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., where the Justices wrote an unclear opinion related to a central provision of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.  Because of this, further clarification of the law is needed, which the Noem-Walberg legislation provides.

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