Philly Council panel advances plan to give pregnant women some relief


A City Council committee has approved a bill to give pregnant women an official break at work in Philadelphia. 

Most employers give pregnant women a break in the workplace, but this bill makes it official, said Councilman Bill Greenlee.

“Things like letting women take a little extra break, letting them drink water at their workplace, using restrooms more frequently, that kind of thing most employers do anyway,” Greenlee said Friday. “Unfortunately, some times we have to pass laws for employees who do not do the right thing. This closes any possible loopholes, any possible problems.”

Reynelle Staley of the Commission on Human Relations says the bill is necesary because of some employers. She offered a few examples, including the experiences of a nurse and a waitress.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“She was terminated after she applied for an extended leave of absence after her doctor recommended she be put on light duty,” Staley told the committee. “Jackie was a waitress at a local restaurant, she was pregnant and had to use the restroom frequently due to morning sickness. Her employer terminated her saying she ‘turned into a different person.'”

The bill now goes to the full council for approval.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal