Delaware Law Would Protect Pregnant Employees From Discrimination
The Delaware House of Representatives last week followed the Delaware Senate in passing a bill to protect pregnant workers from discrimination. It now goes to Delaware Governor Jack Markell to sign.
The state's House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill about a week after the White House Summit on Working Families, during which President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
"Right now, if you're pregnant you could potentially get fired for taking too many bathroom breaks clearly from a boss who has never been pregnant or forced unpaid leave," President Obama remarked at the Summit. "That makes no sense."
The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed in 1978 to prevent employers from legally discriminating against pregnant women in hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, career development, or benefits, yet pregnancy discrimination in the workplace still persists. A report released last summer by the National Women's Law Center(NWLC) demonstrates that many pregnant women are not given even basic accommodations during pregnancy, and many pregnant workers-especially those in lower-paying jobs or jobs traditionally held by men-are fired or forced to take unpaid leave when they request these adjustments.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .