COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two Ohio lawmakers are backing a bill they said will prevent expecting mothers from being terminated from their jobs.
New legislation introduced by state Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) aims to support pregnant women in the workplace by prohibiting employers from failing or refusing to make “reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.”
“These are special circumstances,” Upchurch said. “And we need to make sure there are special protections for these special circumstances.”
The two Democrats called their legislation “commonsense,” as it will keep pregnant employees on the job while improving their health and safety.
“If you need more frequent bathroom breaks, if you need a chair, if you need to keep a water bottle at your desk — those are things that should be guaranteed no matter where you work,” Kelly said.
Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion, Upchurch said now is a good time to introduce the legislation that will support both expecting parents and their children.
Kelly, who said she’s hopeful the legislation will pass, said by supporting pregnant people in the workforce, employee retention will improve and so will the economy.
“It puts them in a position where they can continue to earn money, they can continue to support their families and all of that is resources that continue to go back in our economy,” Kelly said. “Ohio would join 30 other states in guaranteeing these reasonable accommodations for pregnant people.”
The legislation has yet to be assigned a bill number or a House committee assignment.