(April 29) – Rep. Faith Winter’s Colorado Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which protects pregnant employees’ health and ability to work, earned final approval from the House with a bipartisan 40-25 vote this morning.
Examples of reasonable accommodations outlined in HB16-1438 include more frequent bathroom breaks, access to a water bottle, seating and, if available, transfer to a lighter duty position.
“This bill is designed to ensure that no pregnant woman has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and her paycheck,” Rep. Winter, D-Westminster, told the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee last week. “When women are pushed out of the workplace because of pregnancy-related conditions, they lose income, economic security and benefits, including health insurance, at the time when they are most in need of their wages and benefits.”
Employers will not be required to provide any accommodation that would come with significant difficulty or expense. Employees are not required to accept unwanted and unnecessary accommodations.
Sixteen other states have passed similar laws. This bill encourages employees and employers to engage in an interactive process to determine effective and reasonable accommodations that will help an employee maintain a healthy pregnancy and remain employed.
The vote sends the bill to the Senate.