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MotherWoman's Linda O'Connell and House Speaker Robert DeLeo

MotherWoman reflects on House passage of the Mass. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

MotherWoman has been leading a statewide coalition advocating for the legislation to ensure reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Linda Matys O’Connell, acting executive director of the South Hadley-based organization MotherWoman, about the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

WAMC, New England Public Radio
May 12, 2017
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Massachusetts House of Representatives

House passes bill to protect pregnant workers

The Massachusetts House on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would give pregnant women the right to special accommodations at work, such as more frequent breaks, less strenuous duties, and the ability to sit down on the job. The bill is widely expected to be approved by the Senate and by Governor Charlie Baker, who has expressed support for the protections in the bill.

Katie Johnston, Boston Globe
May 10, 2017
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Alejandra Duarte waits for the House vote.

Advocates speak out about importance of protections for pregnant workers

Channel 7 News/Boston’s Sharman Sacchetti spoke with Alejandra Duarte, whose story played a key role in House approval of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and to MotherWoman’s Linda O’Connell.

May 10, 2017
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Pregnant Workers Fairness Act fills loopholes in state, federal law

Alejandra Duarte’s former job at a Worcester industrial laundry facility wasn’t easy. It involved a lot of heavy work — packing and transporting up to 600 pounds on a routine basis. When she became pregnant, she told her supervisor and asked for a lighter workload. Instead, her supervisor increased her workload and hours. Duarte saw her number of 10-hour shifts increase from four to five and was given the additional responsibility of training new workers.  “She said I could accept the work as it was or stop working there,” Duarte told the Legislature’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development during an April hearing, testifying in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Sarah Toy, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
April 22, 2017
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