Accommodations For Pregnant Workers Will Not Be Included In Lawmaker Study Session

May 14, 2020

A rally in January was held to garner support for the pregnant worker accommodation bill.
Credit (FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News)

A bill that would provide workplace accommodations for expectant mothers will not be part of lawmakers’ summer study session. In response, many policy groups across the state say they are disappointed with the legislature.

The bill would have provided reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers like rest breaks, options to sit, or a water bottle. It died earlier this year after being gutted to instead assign it to an interim study committee.

Opponents of the bill say federal disability laws already provide some of these measures.

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Rima Shahid is the executive director of Women4Change Indiana. She says she is shocked the issue won’t be studied, especially as many women work on the frontlines in the pandemic.

“Women are on the frontlines as health care workers and our essential workers,” she says. “We’re telling Hoosier women that we’re not going to take necessary steps to understand what we need to protect Hoosier women and to make sure that we have an equal playing field for everybody.”

Advocates say they’ll continue to fight for the bill in the next legislative session.

Contact Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.