The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader, U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader, U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell:
I write on behalf of Catholic Charities USA, the national office for 167 Catholic Charities agencies operating 3,000 sites across all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The Catholic Charities network provides workforce development, integrated health and social services, and its member agencies served more than 15 million people in need in 2020. We urge the Senate to take up and pass the bipartisan-supported Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, S. 1486, which will make the workplace a safer environment for nursing mothers, pregnant women, and their unborn children.
It is our hope that this important bipartisan legislation will eliminate discrimination against women in the workplace and promote women’s health and economic security through job advancement that respects their right to form a family and bring a pregnancy to term. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act improves the protections for pregnant women by:
• Requiring employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;
• Safeguarding pregnant workers from the denial of employment opportunities, forced leave if another accommodation is available, and retaliation for requesting or using reasonable accommodations; and
• Providing remedies for workers if they are denied reasonable accommodations.
We applaud these efforts which demonstrate a respect for life, family, and the dignity of workers.
Thank you for your consideration. Catholic Charities USA stands ready to work with Congress and the administration to strengthen legal protections for pregnant workers and nursing mothers.
Sister Donna Markham OP, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Catholic Charities USA