December 23, 2022 -- In response to the passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the omnibus government spending package, Rabbi Marla Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of Women of Reform Judaism and the Union for Reform Judaism:
“We celebrate the long-overdue, bipartisan passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. No worker should have to choose between their pregnancy and their family’s financial security. Yet, up until now, due to the lack of explicit protections for pregnant workers needing onsite accommodations for medical or safety reasons, countless workers confront the agonizing choice between risking their health and facing forced leave, lost benefits, or possible termination.
Discrimination against pregnant workers disproportionately affects Black and Latina women in low-paid, inflexible jobs and contributes to the Black maternal health crisis and other forms of racial inequity. Now, with protections and reasonable workplace accommodations, pregnant workers can keep earning a livelihood while protecting their health and financial security.
The protection of workers is a matter of justice. Jewish tradition teaches that “one who withholds an employee’s wages is as though he deprived him of his life” (Baba Metzia 112a). These moral imperatives have guided our support for the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and we celebrate the Senate champions, organizational leaders and partners, and individuals who have shared their stories in this hard-fought victory.”
Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) is a network of Jewish women working together to empower women and communities worldwide through the bonds of sisterhood, spirituality, and social justice. WRJ, founded in 1913, is the women’s affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America. For more information about WRJ, please visit our website at www.wrj.org