PCHR today released new materials to help educate local employers and employees about new protections for workers that are pregnant or new mothers.
PCHR issued a poster that offers a plain-language explanation of the latest update to the Fair Practices Ordinance, the guiding civil rights legislation for the city. Under the law, employees who are pregnant or recently gave birth can ask for reasonable workplace accommodations without fear of losing their jobs. Requests generally deemed reasonable under the new law include asking for bathroom or rest breaks, access to water, assistance lifting items or re-assignment with manual labor duties, for example.
The law also explicitly states that accommodations are not to cause an undue burden on employers
The legislation calls for employers in Philadelphia to provide notification of the law by April 20.
A downloadable electronic copy of the poster is available on the PCHR site.
Hard copies are available at PCHR and the area chambers of commerce also have agreed to help their members obtain hard-copy posters
- Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
- African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE
- Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
- Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
The initial poster is available in English. Other languages and related brochures will be made available shortly.
“One of our primary jobs here at the commission is education, because most people don’t want to break the law – they just don’t know about it,” said Rue Landau, PCHR executive director. “Likewise, for the tens of thousands of women out there doing their best to balance work and motherhood, this is an incredibly important piece of legislation that they need to know about. But many of them are not aware of their rights, either.
“That’s where this effort comes into play. And the workplace will be improved because of it,” Landau said.
The new provisions are geared toward those who are pregnant, nursing, or in some stage of post-natal recuperation.
In January, Mayor Michael A. Nutter enacted the amendment, authored by City Councilman William K. Greenlee. The action added Philadelphia to a list of jurisdictions stretching from California to New York that are reconsidering how to prevent sex discrimination.
The sizable numbers of women heading households and cited cases of women working under conditions hazardous to their health for fear of losing their income helped propel action on this issue.
PCHR is the local government agency charged with its enforcement.