Ninety-seven Democratic members of Congress, including four from Connecticut, have sent a letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee leadership calling for a public investigation into XPO Logistics facilities as well as for a public hearing on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.The letter was prompted by a recent New York Times report detailing alleged instances of pregnancy discrimination, as well as labor disputes, across the country. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and eight other senators launched an investigation into allegedly unsafe working conditions at a warehouse owned by XPO last month.
According to the latest letter, whose signees include U.S. Reps. Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, and Elizabeth Esty, whose district includes Danbury and Newtown:
“Hundreds of thousands of workers could be at risk at XPO Logistics facilities if the aforementioned allegations are accurate. While the current issues raised may be local and isolated, further investigation and oversight should be executed to ensure that hundreds and thousands of workers, nationwide, are not at further risk.
“Recent news reports exposing possible employer misconduct towards pregnant women – many of whom have had miscarriages due to physical strains – is egregious,” DeLauro said. “I condemn these alleged actions in the strongest terms and urge Congress to act immediately to ensure pregnant women are adequately protected in the workplace.”
Greenwich-based XPO said it has launched an independent investigation in response to the reported mistreatment of pregnant workers at a Memphis warehouse, saying that it “continue(s) to have zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment” and that it is “deeply disturbed by the allegations.”
It also announced a new “pregnancy care policy” that includes prenatal paid leave, pregnancy and postpartum benefits and flexible working arrangements, several of which are due to go into effect in January.