Pregnant women could be seeing more rights in the workplace

By Ryne Turke on April 12 at 1:05pm

Legislation that would affect pregnant women in West Central Illinois passed in the house on Thursday.

The measure that would provide them with new workplace rights passed by a vote of 65-35. State Representative Mary Flowers is sponsoring a bill to ensure pregnant women in Illinois get the same treatment as other workers.

“Which will allow them to stay on the job and support their families,” says Flowers.

“It will not acquire any accommodation if it imposes any undo hardship on the employer.”

The bill would cover things such as allowing pregnant women frequent bathroom and water breaks, help with manual labor and time off to recover from childbirth.

Supporters of the bill say something as little as allowing a pregnant woman to sit on the job could mean the difference between a healthy pregnancy and a high risk pregnancy.

State Rep and new mom Emily McAsey says too many pregnant women have to face hardships while they’re on the job.

“Allowing women access to a stool and  to remain hydrated goes such a long way to attributing to a healthy pregnancy.”

There is currently a bill on the table that would require employers to provide special accommodations for pregnant women who need adjustments in their workloads, but State Rep Ron Sandack voted against it.

“Nobody is against pregnant women,” says Sandack.

This bill is problematic because it expands rights beyond whats already provided in federal law and has many undefined terms that could result in unintended consequences.”

The legislation is currently being considered by the state Senate.