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Senate bill addresses pregnant workers’ rights

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FRANKFORT (Feb. 8, 2018) – A state Senate committee advanced a measure today dubbed the Kentucky Pregnant Workers’ Act.

The legislation, known as Senate Bill 38, would modify current statutes regarding pregnant and nursing women in the workforce to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities on the job, said the bill’s sponsor, Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington.

Lyndi Trischler, a police officer from the Northern Kentucky city of Florence, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the legislation.

During the later stages of her pregnancy in 2014, Trischler said she assumed that she would be temporarily transferred to a less hazardous position. She said she was surprised to learn she would be expected to continue with her regular patrol duties with a heavy gun belt and uncomfortably tight bulletproof vest when other suitable jobs were available.

Trischler said staying home without pay or health insurance was the only remaining option if she refused to the job assignment.

“No woman in Kentucky should have to choose between the health of her pregnancy and her job,” Kerr said.

With modified job options, frequent breaks and a private space for breastfeeding in the workplace, Kerr said the goal of SB 38 is to eliminate such a decision from ever having to be made.

SB 38 passed the committee by a 9-0 vote. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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