Career Calling

June 1, 2014

Good News for Pregnant Workers in Illinois

Anyone living in Illinois knows that our state politics are dysfunctional. The governor is a Democrat, and both houses of the legislature are super majority Democratic majorities. Somehow, nothing gets done. When the Democrats do agree, the Republicans through in a monkey wrench.

Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos reports some good news from my home state. A bill has passed that protects pregnant workers from doing work that would endanger their pregnancy. Clawson cites a case in which a pregnant worker at Walmart was ordered to lift a heavy box and climb ladders, which likely contributed to her miscarriage. The bill in Illinois has been sent to the governor for signing. Clawson asks why pro-life Republicans would not sponsor such a bill in the U.S. House. She then answers her own question: It would help workers. Freedom of employers trumps right to life. National politics is even stranger than what we face in Illinois. Workers need to start electing representative who will look out for their interest. What happened in Illinois is only a small step forward.   It is a good step to protect pregnant workers, but we need to do much more – starting with the minimum wage.

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