Today, business owners from across the state of Ohio convened in Columbus for a roundtable discussion with Senator Charleta Tavares (D). The group discussed their support for the Pregnancy Accommodation Act introduced in the state Senate last month.
The Pregnancy Accommodation Act is aimed at addressing the adjustments to the nature of work often required to keep a woman on the job throughout her pregnancy and was co-sponsored by every female member of the State Senate, from both parties.
Existing protections fall short of addressing the specific needs of pregnant women in the workplace, forcing too many women to make the tough decision of losing their income and continuing to work when the nature of their work may be harmful to them or their child.
The Pregnancy Accommodation Act will keep more women in their jobs as long as they can safely work and in turn, will keep more revenue in their homes and the local economies that our small businesses depend on.
“Women are disproportionately heads of households and must work to care for themselves and their families. I have worked with my colleagues to address infant mortality to help ensure women are delivering healthy babies. Allowing for women and their doctors to determine the work accommodations necessary for a healthy pregnancy is paramount in reducing premature births,” says Senator Tavares.
"Ensuring that pregnant women have reasonable accommodations in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense. When women have the opportunity to stay employed, earning a living, throughout their pregnancy, it means that they are still able to support their family and continue to contribute to the local economy,” says Marcia Evans, owner of Marcia Evans Gallery in Short North.
"16% of Ohioans are living at or below the poverty level. That’s 1.8 million of our friends and neighbors, many of whom are single moms. Finding out you are pregnant while working at an employer unwilling to accommodate your needs or secure your job can be the beginning of a downhill spiral. Helping women work during pregnancy, and keep their jobs after, will keep them above the poverty line, off taxpayer-funded assistance, and spending at local shops like mine,” says LeAnne Johnson Absalom, owner of Peace Love Bling in Columbus.
"The proposed requirements for employers will have a minimal impact on how I do business. Many women working for me have become pregnant while on my staff, and they have proven to be just as hard working and responsible as their counterparts. As a women-owned business, I know first-hand how difficult it can be for expecting moms, and we gladly make simple common-sense accommodations,” says Molly Dullea owner of the General Denver Hotel in Wilmington.