Several political advocacy groups in Indiana are pressing the U.S. Senate to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. It comes as national unemployment rates for adult women remain slightly higher than men.
The bill would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. It passed the U.S. House with significant bipartisan support back in May, but has so far been ignored by the U.S. Senate.
Rima Shahid is executive director of Women4Change Indiana. She said while an executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb this year requires accommodations for executive branch employees in Indiana, lawmakers – state and federal – need to protect all pregnant Hoosiers.
“Why is it not for everyone?” she said. “Why is it not for the masses? Why are we singling out one group of people? If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander, right?"
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Shahid said other issues like lack of child care and a persistent gap in pay could be keeping women away from jobs, at a time when employers are clamoring for workers.
Women4Change is hosting a virtual "State of Women in Indiana" event this Saturday to discuss those, and other economic issues affecting Hoosier women.