The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) established a law for pregnant people to be treated and be provided with the same benefits as non-pregnant workers. Without these protections and accommodations set in place, many pregnant workers may find themselves having to leave their jobs or work under non-accommodating conditions (e.g., unable to sit or take rest). However, despite the PDA of 1978, pregnant workers still found themselves facing workplace discrimination. To combat this, various states have taken the effort to ensure pregnant workers have the protections and accommodations they need to promote healthy pregnancies and ensure inclusiveness of the pregnant workers in the workforce.
The data reflect laws passed by states that require employers to provide protections and accommodations to pregnant workers. These data are as of September 2020, reported by the National Partnership for Women and Families.
“None” was assigned to states that did not have any protection plans set in place. “State level” protection was assigned to states that specifically referenced protections or accommodations for pregnant workers that were considered “state” or “county” employees. States were classified as having protections for state employees only if the terms “state employers,” “county,” or “municipal employees” were used. The category “limited” was assigned to states that offer protections for state employees and private employees with exceptions (this would include states that have any employer size limit for eligibility, including “one or more” employees). “All employee” protection was assigned to states with protection plans applicable to the general public, including private and state employees.
National Partnership for Women & Families. (2021). The pregnant workers fairness act fact sheet. https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/pregnancy-discrimination/fact-sheet-pwfa.pdf
National Partnership for Women and Families. (2020). Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers: State and local laws. https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/pregnancy-discrimination/reasonable-accommodations-for-pregnant-workers-state-laws.pdf