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Bauer attempts to strengthen workplace pregnancy accommodations

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) today proposed an amendment to House Bill 1309 to strengthen accommodations for pregnant workers. 

The current bill does not require an employer to provide an accommodation for an employee's pregnancy or impose a duty upon the employer to accommodate a pregnant worker. Bauer hoped to change that through her amendment.

“The proposed pregnancy accommodation bill does not provide women with the support they need to keep working while pregnant,” Bauer said. “These are simple requests: more bathroom breaks, a place to sit down and no lifting heavy objects, however they go a long way in protecting both the woman and her baby.  Currently, our maternal mortality rate is the third highest in the nation, and our infant mortality rate ranks the 11th highest.

“Of the 63 pregnancy-associated deaths in Indiana in 2018, 87% of those were found to have been preventable. This bill is well-intentioned, but women are not asking for our good intentions. We need real action in our state that will keep pregnant workers safely on the job throughout their pregnancies.

“For too many women in our state, the moment they get pregnant is the moment they are forced out of the job.  Women are forced to decide between losing income at a time they can least afford it, and risking their health and pregnancy. This amendment acknowledges a woman's rightful place in Indiana's workforce, and her right to work to support herself and her family while protecting her health, and the health of her baby.”

The amendment was voted down 30-68 on the House floor.

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