February 3, 2020

Senate GOP Guts Pregnancy Accommodations Bill, A Holcomb Priority

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Senate Republicans gutted a bill Monday that would have required employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees’ needs.  - FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Senate Republicans gutted a bill Monday that would have required employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees’ needs.

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Senate Republicans gutted a bill Monday that would have required employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees’ needs.

The legislation is a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s.

The bill would have required businesses with at least 15 workers to provide longer or more frequent breaks for pregnant women, for example. Or to provide seating or temporarily restructure a pregnant women’s job, to modify their work schedules or provide a lactation room.

But Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) doesn’t like that level of specificity in law.

“When we create this one-size-fits-all approach, who’s going to be hurt is the small businesses,” Spartz says.

Thirty-four Republicans voted to strip out those provisions and instead ask for a study committee on the topic.

Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis)) accuses Republicans of waging war on pregnant women.

“Could that be why Indiana’s infant mortality rate is so high? Could that be why Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the nation?" Breaux says. "This is a common-sense bill.”

The House could restore those provisions, if the bill advances there.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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