Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

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A South Dakota Republican this week offered an unusual solution for workers*denied*on-the-job pregnancy accommodations: quit.

Rep. Wayne H. Steinhauer*(R-Minnehaha) was on a*panel of state*lawmakers, all men, who voted 8 to 3 Monday to shelve a bill requiring*reasonable workplace accommodations during and after pregnancy, including frequent or longer breaks, modified work schedules, and private non-bathroom space for breastfeeding.

ďItís not prison. You can quit,Ē Steinhauer, a business owner, said during a Monday hearing of the House Commerce and Energy Committee on the bill, HB 1120.*ďYouíve got a choice every day. You make a choice whether you come to work. And Iím here to tell you, if a personís not allowing you to breastfeed at work or making appropriate accommodations at work, we can pass this law, but you donít want to work for that guy. Get the heck out of there.Ē

https://rewire.news/article/2017/02/...ions-can-quit/
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:27 AM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

There are 2 issues here that I don't see joined...

1. Paycheck to paycheck living: How has modern wants and expectations surpassed modern needs.

2. Legislated accommodations: Between large and small businesses, who determines fairness and compassion. Does small business offer more compassion, therefore more flexibility because representation (union) does not factor in and should government step in to such a level?
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

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Originally Posted by Emerging Buddhist View Post
There are 2 issues here that I don't see joined...

1. Paycheck to paycheck living: How has modern wants and expectations surpassed modern needs.

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Not sure I see this one. I suppose that you mean that those who cannot afford to have children, probably should not? Your post is a little vague. It takes a bit of a leap for me to get to this conclusion and I'm not sure I got it right.

I think it's much more than those with little income. Those women aren't the only ones who would benefit by a law like this. Women of lower income usually work in production. Those women don't have as much freedom to roam as office workers who seem to be paid a little more.

I'm not really sure about your take on this. I'm confused.
2. Legislated accommodations: Between large and small businesses, who determines fairness and compassion. Does small business offer more compassion, therefore more flexibility because representation (union) does not factor in and should government step in to such a level?

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Wouldn't there be a component of responsibility? Who is responsible for the care of a child? Is it parents or the parents' employer?

Also, if an employer is forced by law to be responsible for the health of your children, what parental rights are we giving up?

What are the possible ramifications down the road?

Do we allow others to raise our children?

Do we become human cattle?

I think there are plenty of issues to discuss.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:35 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

I'm not taking time to think this through, so I'm shooting from the hip.

Aren't employers already required to make reasonable medical accommodations? If a condition requires accommodation whether pre/post-pregnancy then have the doctor put the restriction in writing.

Maybe providing a private non-bathroom room for lactation needs some legislation. Enough exceptions can be added to avoid unnecessarily burdening some businesses.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:42 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

Employers should make reasonable accommodations. Workers often have more of their lives invested in a company than the hedge fund managers.

If you don't embody controversy, what you say will become just another part of the media driven culture of stifling thought and debate about issues.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:49 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

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Employers should make reasonable accommodations. Workers often have more of their lives invested in a company than the hedge fund managers.
I interpreted the thread to ask if some accommodations should be legislated and asking our reaction to the legislator's comment.

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought employers already had to make accommodations so requiring breaks should be covered by a physician's note.

As for a locations room, it might unfortunately need legislated.

Insofar as a reaction to the legislator: it was somewhat callous but I like direct language. Some people's feelings can't handle it though.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

If you read the article, you would note that he is for the law, except that he doesn't understand why anyone would want to work for a business that doesn't accommodate lactating women.

I suppose a case can be made against this for those who have a business using their breast milk for sale....I hadn't thought of that till just now, though.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 01:57 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

The lawmaker sounds unnecessarily callous, but I agree with his point. Most companies hire employees because they need them to do a specific job and they believe each person filling their role is a net benefit to the company, helping them stay in business.

Every time the government tells companies they must provide something to employees, they are putting a burden on the company. A large company in a large building may have no problem accommodating such a request. But there are many small companies who are barely getting by as it is. They may not HAVE a spare room for lactating. And to be forced to move or build or whatever for a temporary need of one person seems unreasonable to me.

Maybe the legislation includes language saying this only applies to companies over a certain size. But if not, I think it's unrealistic and unfair to mindlessly heap requirements onto companies and think everything will be fine if only those greedy companies would take care of their people properly.

As a middle aged woman, a company that hires construction workers that do heavy lifting should not be required to hire and accommodate someone like me. Restaurants like hooters should not be required to hire overweight 55 year old men to be servers. etc.

I think it's best if a company can accommodate pregnant and lactating women. But if they can't, or choose not to, I don't think the government should force them to do it. They are businesses, not charities. They only stay in business if they can turn a profit.

Another thought - if the government piles these requirements on companies, are companies going to avoid hiring women of child bearing age? Could a law like this do more harm than good?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

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Another thought - if the government piles these requirements on companies, are companies going to avoid hiring women of child bearing age? Could a law like this do more harm than good?
Great question.

I don't think it was callous, just realistic.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:38 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

Speaking from personal experience only, I was extremely fortunate to have a job that allowed me a lot of flexibility while I was pregnant. Now I had what I call a dream pregnancy, no morning sickness, no difficulty at all in regards to walking up and down the stairs (and like all other employees I ha access to the elevator key), and perhaps because my direct supervisor was pregnant herself right around the same time, I was often allowed to leave work earlier once my biweekly checkup appointments started (I believe towards the end of my pregnancy). Then after I had my child, I was allowed breaks to pump as needed (usually 2 15-minute breaks besides my 45 minute lunch break). All my supervisor expected was for me to get my work done and while there were times when I had to bring a bit of work home to me it was a very fair arrangement.
The kind of job I have is not very physical at all so that worked in my favor. Also, I pretty much get to set my own schedule each day and when there were times that I was feeling a bit too tired I'd adjust my activities accordingly (i.e. writing reports instead of holding meetings).

Now I cannot imagine someone going through a difficult pregnancy, doing a mostly physical job and being expected to perform at the same level as when they were not pregnant without any accommodations. With that said, pregnancy is for the most part a choice so I could understand why some businesses would not appreciate being mandated by law to provide accommodations to pregnant employees.
I'd like to think though that if said employee is reliable and valued then the employer would want to offer certain accommodations to ensure that they do not lose them.
In sum, I'd like to see no need for legislation when it comes to reasonable accommodations.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

I worked with a woman who would not take off until her water broke.

She felt they would get rid of her. Many companies do. They need folks there for work. I understand their side of it. No idea if that is why they were fired, but I figure everyone has some issue with their work, an area they aren't so good at, that can be exploited. I've seen it done to fire the individual.

I also understand certain needs. I don't think it is the same across the board, though. That is an issue. I don't think there is an easy answer, other than to take responsibility for ourselves.

I don't think it is right to require employers to do some of these things for us. They aren't a daycare or our mothers. Sorry, that seems harsh when I read it. I don't know how else to write it. Reality is harsh. Life is not easy.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:26 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

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Great question.

I don't think it was callous, just realistic.
LOL, well I said it was callous and then I realized I was saying the same thing the lawmaker said...

In an ideal world, new mothers would not have to choose between their job and family and all employers would have overflowing resources to accommodate every person's personal situations... But in the real world, that simply is not always possible. The employee needs to be able to do their job. I used to think companies should pay more and do a lot more for their employees. And then I became a business owner and had to ask - pay more with WHAT? I will use sub contractors but I will not hire an employee because I simply do not have the resources to meet all the government's requirements.

It's always so easy to be generous with someone else's money and resources.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:45 PM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

The Bill needed to be shelved, the language is extremely hurtful to businesses. IMO, it needs to be better worded before being reintroduced.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

I don't think you can polish a turd, philly.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 11:25 AM
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Re: Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit

"Not sure I see this one. I suppose that you mean that those who cannot afford to have children, probably should not? Your post is a little vague. It takes a bit of a leap for me to get to this conclusion and I'm not sure I got it right.

I think it's much more than those with little income. Those women aren't the only ones who would benefit by a law like this. Women of lower income usually work in production. Those women don't have as much freedom to roam as office workers who seem to be paid a little more.

I'm not really sure about your take on this. I'm confused".


No, I didn't mean that at all... what I mean is that in the opening paragraph of the article:

"Many workers lack a rainy day fund to tide them over during a job search. Nearly 40 percent of 3,200 full-time workers polled nationwide in 2016 said they sometimes live paycheck to paycheck."

That many people willing spend money they do not have for things they do not need thus contributing to living paycheck to paycheck. This is choice they place themselves into thus reducing their ability to tide them over in said new job search or ways to better themselves (schooling/training).

"Wouldn't there be a component of responsibility? Who is responsible for the care of a child? Is it parents or the parents' employer?

Also, if an employer is forced by law to be responsible for the health of your children, what parental rights are we giving up?

What are the possible ramifications down the road?

Do we allow others to raise our children?

Do we become human cattle?

I think there are plenty of issues to discuss."


Nanny state rings loud when we begin dictating birth to death legislation... but a compassionate employer must have compassionate employees, those who would understand and not resent such conditions as mentioned and not say "she gets special treatment so I want special compensation too because it isn't fair that she has something I don't".

What I've experienced, where such is dictated morale suffers as forced fairness becomes anything but.

I don't think "Moo" is a mindful thing...

Last edited by Emerging Buddhist; 02-12-2017 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Mindful spelling...
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