Sunday, March 18, 2007

Committee Votes Against Pregnant Workers

The House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth on Friday failed to give a Do Pass recommendation to House Bill 2772 by Rep. Lindsley Smith. The bill would have provided unpaid family medical leave for women workers who give birth during the first year of employment. Business interests and "human resource managers" opposed the legislation as too burdensome for employers, leaving women workers to face the harsh choice between losing their job or losing their child.

The bill needed 11 votes to get out of committee but received only 8 favorable votes (7D-1R): Representatives David Cook, Sharon Dobbins, Bubba Powers, Johnnie Roebuck, Bobby Pierce, Donna Hutchinson, Dawn Creekmore, and Linda Chesterfield voted for the bill.

Seven legislators voted against protecting the jobs of pregnant women employees: Johnny Key, Joan Cash, Bryan King, Barry Hyde, Steve Breedlove, and Tracy Pennartz. Five legislators did not vote, which had same effect as voting against: Representatives Michael Lamoureux, Aaron Burkes, Ed Garner, J.R. Rogers, and Randy Stewart. (7D-5R)

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