“Protecting Pregnancy: Today and Tomorrow” CLE

Presented by Professor Jennifer Bennett Shinall, Vanderbilt Law School

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Tallahassee Women Lawyers is proud to present "Protecting Pregnancy," a CLE by Professor Jennifer Bennett Shinall. Laws to assist pregnant women in the workplace are gaining legislative momentum in the United States, both at the state and federal levels. This year alone, four such laws will go into effect at the state level, and federal legislation is advancing farther than ever before in the House of Representatives. Four types of legislative protections for pregnant workers currently exist—pregnancy accommodation laws, pregnancy transfer laws, paid family leave laws, and state disability insurance programs—but very little is known about how each type of legislation performs, relative to the others.


This talk will review the issues that continue to confront pregnant women in the workplace—four decades after the passage of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act—and provide an overview of each type of pregnancy legislation that exist at the state level. The talk will also provide empirical insight into how each type of pregnancy legislation performs, relative to the others, based on my own original research (forthcoming in the Cornell Law Review). This research indicates that pregnancy accommodation laws and paid family leave laws have several labor market benefits for women who have given birth in the past year. Conversely, pregnancy transfer laws may have unintended, negative consequences for women who have recently given birth. The results suggest that advocacy groups, who have typically favored all four types of legislation, should shift their focus to supporting accommodation and paid family leave laws.

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