Ohio senators, faith leaders, small business owners, and doctors gathered at Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square to urge lawmakers to support legislation that ends workplace discrimination against pregnant women.
If passed, the bill would lay out a set of commonsense rules for business owners that ensure accommodations are being made for pregnant and breastfeeding employees. Too many women are forced to make the impossible decision of losing their income or continuing to work when the nature of their work may be harmful to them or their child.
Members of the Main Street Alliance met last month with State Senator Charleta Tavares (D)- District 15 at a roundtable discussion at a Columbus jewelry store. There, the group discussed the economic impact imposed on a family forced to lose income during a pregnancy and the ripple effect that has on their businesses.
As the group assured the Senator at that meeting, the member businesses of the Main Street Alliance of Ohio welcome a new set of rules and will gladly make simple accommodations to keep women working when they need it most, and allow them to participate in their local economy.
"The proposed requirements for employers are VERY minimal. I have many women working for me who become pregnant and subsequently deliver. They have proven to be hard working and responsible about maternity leave. Providing a place to breastfeed or "pump" is not a problem for us. We encourage time and bonding with their child. Being a woman-owned company I know firsthand how difficult it was for me," says Molly Dullea, owner of The General Denver Hotel.
" As a business owner and a father and grandfather. The goal of Senate Bill 301 is not to create a burden for businesses. The purpose is to reinforce what should already be happening, that businesses that can make reasonable accommodations are doing so, and that women are not forced to choose between their job and a healthy pregnancy,” says Mike Held, owner of The Old Trail Printing Company.
"The long-term repercussions of discriminating against pregnant women have more and more impact on the State budget than the temporary, reasonable accommodations we are asking employers to provide during pregnancy,” says LeAnne Absolom, owner of Peace Love Bling.