INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor pledged Tuesday he would keep pushing for a law requiring more businesses to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant women even though the state Senate rebuffed his proposal last week.
Republican senators stripped out from a bill the requirement that businesses modify jobs for pregnant women who need longer breaks, transfers to less physical work and unpaid time off after childbirth. The vote came despite Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s endorsement of the proposal and inclusion in his priorities list for this year’s legislative session.
The proposal faces opposition from some business groups, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Manufacturers Association, over possibly exposing more businesses to lawsuits.
Holcomb said he will “absolutely” work on winning support among lawmakers before the legislative session ends in March.
“We’ve got our work to do, but I’m still hellbent on making sure that that becomes a reality in the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said.
Top Holcomb administration health officials joined several doctors and other health advocates in backing the plan as a way of improving Indiana’s infant mortality rate, which was the country’s seventh-worst in 2017 with about 600 infant deaths.
The proposal would cover Indiana businesses with more than 15 employees. Federal laws already require larger companies to provide pregnancy accommodations. Twenty-seven other states have laws similar to Holcomb’s proposal.