President Joe Biden recently signed legislation into law that requires workplaces to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers.
“Before the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, workers in this country did not have a nationwide, affirmative, explicit right to get accommodations or job changes at work while pregnant or postpartum—and now they will,” Sarah Brafman, national policy director at the worker justice organization A Better Balance, told Fortune.
The outlet pointed out that workers are now able to legally expect and requests for “light duty” in physically demanding jobs, temporary transfers to new duties or teams, more frequent bathroom breaks, a stool to sit on at work, permission to eat or drink while working, or additional time off before or after childbirth. Most importantly, The law also protects the jobs of workers who need flexible scheduling for prenatal appointments or remote work arrangements.
“No postpartum worker will lose her job at a critical time in her growing family’s finances for needing time to recover from childbirth,” Dina Bakst, co-founder and co-president of Better Balance, an organization dedicated to advancing justice for working families in the U.S. said in an interview with ABC News on Tuesday.
She continued: “No longer will women nationwide face the impossible choice between maintaining a healthy pregnancy and their economic security.”
In April, the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act was enacted, which enable employees to require employers to provide them time for lactation breaks.
Brafman addedd: “Our federal law, which hasn’t been updated for 40 years, is finally catching up to the needs of workers in this country.”