Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Despite Proposed Bill, TN Lags in Accommodation for Pregnant Workers

Play

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A bill in Congress that would ensure pregnant women aren't fired from their jobs for requesting reasonable accommodations in the workplace has received bipartisan approval in the House Education and Labor Committee, and soon should move to the House floor for a vote.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is co-sponsored by 26 representatives from both sides of the aisle. Elizabeth Gedmark is vice president of the workforce advocacy group A Better Balance. She said gaps in current state laws leave Tennessee's pregnant workers at risk of losing their jobs for making minor requests, such as needing to sit or avoid heavy lifting.

"We for many years have been working on a Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and that bill has garnered bipartisan support," Gedmark said. "We expect that it will again this year, and we think that 2020 is the year that Tennessee will be next."

The bill is sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar. In 2018, Tennessee made national headlines when a New York Times investigation revealed six Memphis women had suffered miscarriages after lifting heavy boxes without being given breaks at their employer's warehouse.

Gedmark said outdated policies aren't in line with the fact that women now outnumber men in the labor force, according to the latest federal data.

"Women are now the majority of the workforce, so this is not the 1950s," she said. "And we can't rely on laws from the '50s, '60s and '70s for our reality now, where women are working farther into their pregnancies and more and more women are working, and they're supporting their families."

She pointed out while a 1978 federal law bars employers from firing someone because they're pregnant, it doesn't protect workers from unsafe working conditions. Gedmark added that pregnancy discrimination remains widespread and is an uphill battle in courtrooms.

"Even in court cases where women had gone all the way to court with this issue, two-thirds of them in post-2015 cases lost their pregnancy-discrimination claims," she said.

She also noted black women filed nearly 30% of pregnancy-discrimination complaints between 2010 and 2015, despite making up only 14% of the female labor force.


get more stories like this via email

An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …


Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …


Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …

Environment

Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …

Environment

By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021