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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Law protecting mother athletes signed into law

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago

By The Star Staff

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago announced Monday that Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia signed into law a bill of his authorship to prohibit any type of discrimination against female athletes who are mothers, imposing specific obligations for sports entities and organizations that fail to comply with the statute.

“This law is a significant step toward equity in sports and ensures that our athlete mothers have the necessary support to achieve their sports goals without having to sacrifice their family well-being,” Dalmau Santiago said.

Law 117 of 2023, known as the “Law for the Protection of Mother Athletes of Puerto Rico” highlights in its preamble that “for a long time athletes in Puerto Rico, whose salaries or remunerations and benefits are always considerably lower than those of a male athlete, need their rights protected and discrimination made visible and combated.”

It also establishes that “this Law guarantees athlete mothers fair treatment at the time of becoming pregnant during the term of a sports contract, or in those cases in which the player is reserved by the team during the offseason break. Likewise, this legislation recognizes the right to breastfeeding in the sports field, through the laws in force.”

“We are recognizing that athletes in Puerto Rico must have protection during their gestation and lactation status, and be guaranteed the right to privacy, to the inviolability of their dignity as a human being, to the freedom to decide their social and family environment, and that this is not an impediment to earn a fair income for their livelihood,” the Senate leader stressed.

Dalmau Santiago said the new law establishes protective clauses for athletes who are mothers and contemplates the imposition of administrative fines for those who do not comply with the established provisions, thus ensuring the effectiveness of and compliance with its stipulations.

“The public policy expressed by this Law, governed by a pressing interest in protecting the athlete mother in her work environment, prohibits any type of discrimination against athlete mothers that tends to restrict their family, sports and economic development,” he said.

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