2018 Written Testimony | Support HB 1109

  • House Bill 1109 – State Government – Discrimination in Employment – Pregnancy and Childbirth Economic Matters Committee
  • February 27, 201SUPPORT

Thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony concerning an important priority of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County (WDC) for the 2018 legislative session. WDC is one of the largest and most active Democratic Clubs in our County with more than 600 politically active women and men, including many elected officials.

WDC urges the passage of HB1109 State Government - Discrimination in Employment -Conditions Related to Pregnancy or Childbirth. This bill strengthens existing law by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants for employment who have limitations due to conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, in addition to those who need accommodations as the result of pregnancy complications. This bill also prohibits an employer from requiring such an employee to take paid or unpaid leave if the employer can provide a reasonable accommodation. This bill requires the Commission on Civil Rights to develop related public education programs about these requirements.

Sixty-five percent of Maryland women are in the workforce. Forty-nine percent head households. The lack of adequate paid leave and the economic realities of many families, especially those headed by single mothers, require many mothers to work throughout all or most of their pregnancies (sixty-six percent nationally). Women in low-wage jobs, many of which are physically demanding, are most likely to seek and be denied reasonable accommodations. Without these accommodations, pregnant workers must choose between a healthy pregnancy and their family’s income.

Keeping experienced women in the workforce and supporting women in maintaining family income must be priorities for our State.

We ask for your support for HB1109 and strongly urge a favorable Committee report.