INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Holcomb says he’s “hell-bent” on passing workplace protections for pregnant women, despite a setback in the legislature.
If you’re pregnant or have just given birth, federal regulations require your workplace to make “reasonable” accommodations for you. Holcomb has called for more specific state protections. Lafayette Senator Ron Alting’s bill listed a dozen potential steps, from less standing and lifting to modified uniforms and more frequent breaks. But Senate Republicans worry the list of special accommodations could prove endless. All but five Republicans voted to turn the proposal into a study of the issue. A similar bill in the House didn’t even get a hearing.
Holcomb says he didn’t do a good enough job of explaining the bill to legislators. He says he’s still working to push the bill through, lobbying legislators one-on-one and in small groups. He says 27 other states have similar laws, and says some of those governors have told him they encountered the same objections.
State health commissioner Kristina Box says the bill would be a step toward reducing Indiana’s chronically high infant death rate.
But while Holcomb wants the bill passed this year, he’s acknowledging some things take longer than he’d like, and says the effort to build support for the bill might have to take place in a study committee over the summer, when the legislature is done for the year.
Cover Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash