Little support in NH for federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act - 215 citizens, 504 responses

Jun 08, 2015

New Hampshire US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R) are cosponsoring the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. While employers currently may not discriminate against pregnant employees, they are also not required to temporarily modify jobs for them. On June 8, the Live Free or Die Alliance asked Facebook members, “Do you support the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act?”

A total of 83% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 71% majority expressed disagreement with the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act with 29% for it. Of the remaining respondents, 12% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 5% addressed their comments to unrelated issues. In sum, 215 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 504 responses. 

For respondents of the majority opinion, reasons ran the gamut with several claiming there are enough laws already and others questioning the logic itself behind the proposed legislation. Others cited pregnancy as a choice and said no special considerations should be necessary. Noting she wants equal treatment as opposed to special treatment, one woman remarked, “This is a job killer. It's not your boss’s responsibility to accommodate a choice you made to have a baby.”  Added another respondent, “I didn't expect any special accommodations when I was pregnant..”

Many who expressed support for the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, however, cited concern for pregnant women. “The last thing a pregnant woman needs is to worry that she will lose her job or be forced to quit because her employer is unwilling to make even small accommodations,” said one woman. Others took exception to the argument that those who choose pregnancy should not be protected, including one respondent who added, “Some women like myself need a job and need to keep it. High risk pregnancies need more accommodations than others.” 

For those who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, some cited personal experiences in which their employers “did the right thing,” while others commented on the logistics behind accommodating pregnant women. Some cited confusion at the current laws, including one woman who said, “My daughter is on maternity leave and she had to file paperwork from her employer for short term disability. I am confused.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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