The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), introduced Friday by Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), would require employers to make the same kind of workplace accommodations for pregnant women that current law requires them to make for people with disabilities.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), these are called "reasonable accommodations," designed so that employees with disabilities can perform the job functions they were hired to do.
Pregnancy, however, is not considered a disability. Instead, pregnant women are protected by the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which makes it illegal to fire a woman just because she becomes pregnant. But employers can still refuse to accommodate pregnant women's basic, temporary medical needs at work, like Wiseman's request for a water bottle, essentially forcing them to choose between keeping their job and ensuring the health of their unborn child and themselves.