Winning The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: An Inside Story and Lessons Learned from the Decade-Long Fight for Justice, Fairness, and Equality (2023)

Winning the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act from A Better Balance documents the history of the decade-long movement to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA passed in December 2022, after a ten-year campaign to ensure pregnant workers are afforded fairness, dignity, and equality under the law.

The law closes a pernicious gap in our nation’s civil rights laws that forced countless pregnant workers to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. The PWFA affords millions of pregnant and postpartum workers, particularly Black and Latina women in low-wage, inflexible, and male-dominated jobs, crucial new protections during pregnancy and immediately after childbirth to protect their health and keep their jobs. The law provides pregnant and postpartum workers an explicit right to reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship to their employers.

Since the PWFA’s passage, many people have asked us: How did a major piece of civil rights legislation pass in a heavily partisan and divided Congress? The answer is multifaceted and complex. Winning the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act tells the detailed 10-year history of the PWFA movement and provides insight into the key tactics and strategies we believe were most fruitful in passing the legislation.

We hope Winning the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act also serves as a roadmap for future advocacy campaigns. The full report—including a detailed timeline of events and appendix listing hundreds of supporting organizations from throughout the years—is available for download here.

Categories: Care Economy, Grassroots Organizing, Maternal Health/Mental Health
Author: A Better Balance
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