Ohio bill aims to protect pregnant workers on the job

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two Ohio lawmakers are backing a bill they say will prevent expectant mothers from being fired.

New legislation introduced by State Representatives Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) aims to support pregnant women in the workplace by prohibiting employers from not or refusing to make “reasonable accommodation for pregnant workers”.

“These are special circumstances,” Upchurch said. “And we need to make sure there are special protections for those particular circumstances.”

Both Democrats called their legislation “common sense” because it will keep pregnant employees on the job while improving their health and safety.

“If you need to take more frequent bathroom breaks, if you need a chair, if you need to keep a bottle of water at your desk, those are things that should be guaranteed, no matter where you work,” Kelly said.

Given the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion, Upchurch said the time had come to introduce legislation that will support both expectant parents and their children.

Kelly, who expressed optimism that the legislation will pass, said that by supporting pregnant women in the workforce, employee retention will improve, as will the economy.

“It puts them in a position where they can continue to earn money, they can continue to provide for their families, and all of that is resources that keep coming back into our economy,” Kelly said. “Ohio would join 30 other states in ensuring these reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.”

The bill has not yet been given a bill or House committee number.

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