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Pregnant employees to have new rights

Thursday, May 29, 2014

* This has been an interesting bill to watch all spring

The House gave final sign-off Wednesday to legislation that would give pregnant employees new civil rights in the workplace.

House Bill 8 provides that pregnant women be allowed “reasonable accommodations” on the job such as longer bathroom breaks, seating and time off to recover from childbirth.

The governor has said it’s the most important bill of the year. Business groups fought it in the beginning because they usually fight more government mandates. And quite a few Republicans voted against it when the bill first came up in the House.

But after some Senate changes, the bill unanimously passed both chambers.

* This bill also received some bipartisan support

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would strike the arrest records of kids who haven’t been convicted of a crime.

The measure passed 74-40 in the House and goes to the Senate.

“Having a single juvenile arrest can impact the ability of youth to successfully compete for education, scholarships, employment and service opportunities later in life,” said the bill’s main sponsor Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago.

Senate Bill 978 would require the Illinois State Police to wipe clean the arrest record each year for those under the age of 18, so long as they weren’t convicted of a crime. However, this does not apply to youth arrested for serious felonies or for sexual crimes.

Turner said the current process to expunge a person’s arrest record is “cumbersome” in that it takes time, money and is subject to all sorts of red tape. Turner said the fact that his bill automatically wipes these records for free will give young people a “fresh start” as they apply for a job or for college.

* And in the Department of Redundancy Department

A Senate committee has approved a November ballot question asking if Illinois voters think prescription drug coverage plans should include birth control.

Illinois already requires insurance providers that cover prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptive drugs for women. Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, sponsored that legislation, which became law in 2003. She told Senate Executive Committee members Wednesday that the goal of the ballot question is to make the argument stronger in light of the Affordable Care Act.

Republican Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, calls it “utterly meaningless” and accused Martinez of election-year politics.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - Walker - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Matt Murphy is right that it’s meaningless, since it probably won’t even make it to the House floor.


  2. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    — Department of Redundancy Department ===

    Or the Natural Guard.

    Firesign Theater is the best.


  3. - Daverpig - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    ==The governor has said it’s the most important bill of the year.==
    This is the saddest thing I have seen. What a bunch of messed up priorities our government has.


  4. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Of course it the most important bill of the year. He’s a dandy that Pat Quinn. One might think his MONUMENTAL defeat at passing the tax hike extention and the fallout would be a slight concern. Who knew?


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    –This is the saddest thing I have seen. What a bunch of messed up priorities our government has.–

    Really? You’ve lived quite a sheltered life up to now.

    Credit where credit’s due: Good on the bipartisan GA votes on the pregnancy and youth arrest bills.

    Meaningful laws with positive impacts for real people.


  6. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    If we want future generations, then we need to stop making pregnancy a problem. If you want to claim you are pro-life, then you need to ensure that those creating that life, can do so without penalty.

    What the Governor said about it, is over the top however.


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    Regardless of how desperate you may be to drive turnout, adding the birth control referendum is redundant and an abuse of the process. Every redundant question we add unnecessarily leads to longer ballots, longer lines and longer wait times to vote. Even an extra minute or two of voting time per ballot adds up quickly during “rush hours” and in precincts that are shorthanded after machine malfunctions during the day.

    btw - if Martinez is so concerned her original legislation needs to be stronger, why didn’t she lift a single finger this session to work on making the language stronger? That would be much more effective and direct approach by her own “logic”. Absurd.


  8. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    ===What the Governor said about it, is over the top however===

    Pregnant women are America’s backbone.


  9. - Anon - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    == Pregnant women are America’s backbone. ==

    The real American heroes.


  10. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Half of the pregnant women in Illinois decide to have a child even though they can’t afford the birth of that child, with or without the father. To me, that is irresponsible and unfair to the child. America’s Backbone? More like breaking our backs to the tune of more than $1 Billion per year in Illinois. Someone needs to start sending the message out there that if you can’t afford to pay for the birth of a child, then don’t get pregnant or get anyone pregnant.


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    You got any facts to back up that misogyny, Jeff? Last I checked a dude is generally required to make a baby.


  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    –Someone needs to start sending the message out there that if you can’t afford to pay for the birth of a child, then don’t get pregnant or get anyone pregnant.–

    Huh? Or what?


  13. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    What pregnant women badly need is the assurance that the same or similar job will be waiting for them, even if they decide to stay home with the kid until kg, but certainly longer than a few months. When I had my kids, quite a while ago, it was six weeks and come back or no guarantees. I went back. I don’t necessarily regret it, but I still hear stories today about young women who have to rush back to work a few months after the birth to ensure they have a job to go back to.
    This shouldn’t be a forced choice.


  14. - Nonplussed - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    Cassandra, I don’t think going back to work after 6 weeks maternity leave is being rushed back or a forced choice.


  15. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    “You got any facts to back up that misogyny, Jeff?”

    How about Pat Quinn’s budget address from 2012? That good enough for your knee-jerk assumptions?

    http://www.sj-r.com/x1907503497/No-cuts-seen-in-Medicaid-birth-benefits-in-Illinois

    “More than half of Illinois babies born today are covered by Medicaid,” Quinn said
    Medicaid paid for 89,621 Illinois deliveries in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That was nearly 54 percent of all births, according to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The total cost was $890 million.
    Medicaid plays an even bigger role in births to teen mothers. The program paid for nearly 94 percent of teen deliveries in 2009. “”

    As for misogyny, you got it backwards. Misogyny is assuming a woman can’t take care of herself or child without a man, can’t make good decisions because she’s dumber than men, or that women are incapable or somehow inferior. I am assuming the opposite of that, woman are just as capable as men are, which is more feministic.

    wordslinger, in other words, women, please don’t get pregnant if you can’t afford the birth of child, and men, please don’t get anyone pregnant if you can’t afford the birth of a child. Half of our children born into that extreme poverty is a huge social and financial problem. It doesn’t have to be that way.


  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    Trigg, lighten up man. For a lot of poor people, sex is about the only entertainment they can afford. Pregnancy is a side effect of intercourse. Poverty is a side effect of capitalism. Nobody wants to raise children in poverty, but asking them to stop having sex is kind of unrealistic don’t you think?

    And nonplussed, I’m going to assume you’re a man who has no children. And with your attitude, probably no wife either.


  17. - Cheswick - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    How would he know?


  18. - TooManyJens - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    Nonplussed, I wonder whether you have ever borne a child. Six weeks with your baby before going back to work is NOTHING. I got twice that and it was still incredibly difficult to be separated from my baby so soon.


  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 8:32 pm:

    Trigg, you worry too much.

    The teen birth rate, and that of all women in the U.S. aged 15-44, both set record lows in 2013.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/birthrate-among-teens-fell-to-record-low-in-2013-1401334914


  20. - Amalia - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    Planned Parenthood is supporting the ballot question. They sent out an email entitled “Support HB 5755 Birth Control Advisory Referendum” It is long, and factual and interesting.


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