Health & Family

Earlier this week, a coalition of legislators introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, designed to encourage employers to make nice to their pregnant employees. If they need extra bathroom breaks or help lifting heavy things or a chair to sit in, employers shouldn’t balk.

But many are. Complaints about pregnancy-related work discrimination have soared 50% since 2000. Consider the case of Angie, a train conductor in Mississippi whose employer wouldn’t agree to accommodate her when she presented a doctor’s note limiting the amount of weight she should lift. Employees at her workplace routinely helped each other out, but her employer forced her to take three months of unpaid leave rather than assign her to lighter duty. She contacted an advice hotline maintained by Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a nonprofit law firm that focuses on employment and educational equity for women, but there wasn’t much ERA could do in the absence…

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