Senate Adds Pregnant Worker Protections To Omnibus Spending Bill

December 22, 2022

The Senate on Thursday voted in favor of adding a measure to guarantee basic workplace accommodations for pregnant employees to its omnibus spending bill.

The bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was co-sponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Patty Murray (D-WA). It was attached as an amendment to the $1.7 trillion end-of-year spending package being negotiated in the upper chamber that must be passed to keep the government functioning after Friday. 

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and tracks with several state laws already passed to bar discrimination against pregnant workers. However, the bill includes protections not already codified in the ADA or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), according to a press release from the office of Sen. Casey. 

The Senate on Thursday moved toward passing the 4,155-page omnibus bill, hoping to clear passage and stave off a partial government shutdown ahead of the Christmas holiday—and so lawmakers could leave DC before an approaching winter storm slammed the nation’s capital. 

Support from at least 10 GOP Senators is needed for it to clear the Senate before the omnibus is taken up by the House.

The omnibus spending package is likely to be one of the final bills taken up by the Democratic-controlled Congress. Failure to pass it by end-of-day Friday would mean a partial government shutdown.

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