The Lead

Casey visits Harrisburg, celebrates the newly enacted Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

By: - July 21, 2023 3:13 pm

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., takes questions from reporters on a visit to Harrisburg on Friday to celebrate the recently enacted Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, July 21, 2023 (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

HARRISBURG — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., visited Harrisburg on Friday to highlight recently enacted federal legislation to expand workplace protections for pregnant workers.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which Casey first introduced in 2012, went into effect on June 27 and now requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide pregnant workers with “reasonable accommodations” such as permission to sit or stand while performing their job duties and altered break or shift schedules, unless it would pose an undue hardship for the employer.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: What’s in it, what does it mean for Pennsylvanians?

“It’s one less thing to worry about in the workplace and in the employer-employee relationship,” Casey said. “You can have a standard that will ensure that employers and employees can work this out based upon that reasonable accommodation standard. That’s obviously better for everybody.”

Talking to reporters on Friday, Casey said he was “grateful” to see the PWFA enacted after a decade of work to get it across the finish line. 

“I’m relieved beyond measure that it’s passed and now implemented,” Casey said. “This was something that involved various groups coming together to find a solution and accomplish something that should have been done 10 years ago.”

State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Delaware, announced earlier this month that she would introduce a similar pregnant workers’ protection bill in the upper chamber. 

Pa. Democrat proposes statewide protections for pregnant workers, building on federal PWFA

Casey expressed support for Cappelletti’s effort to enact similar legislation at the state level. 

“We’d love to see it at the state level,” Casey told reporters. “And I think the more that you can have a reinforcement of that principle — reasonable accommodations — the better.”

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.