The Kentucky Senate voted 25 to 7 today to require certain employers to offer pregnant workers what is considered reasonable accommodations. That could include giving workers the opportunity to transfer to a less strenuous job.
The bills key sponsor is Lexington Senator Alice Forgy Kerr. “With Senate Bill 18 we can provide the guardrails to make navigating this terrain a little less difficult. We can make it more productive and mutually beneficial Mr. President for both employees and employers.”
During her floor speech, Senator Kerr said women make up more than half of Kentucky’s workforce and more than half of pregnant women work during their pregnancy.
One of the no votes was cast by northern Kentucky Senator John Schickel. He believes the requirements will not necessarily benefit all women in the workforce. “Bills like this will have the opposite effect. That they will not encourage people to hire and accommodate. That, in fact, will discourage people from hiring and accommodating,” said Schickel.
The bill was amended on the floor to specifically pertain only to employers with 15 workers or more and it removed the requirement that employers have ten days to inform a pregnant worker of accommodations, once the employee has announced the pregnancy.