If you see State Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) around the Capitol, she’s likely to be toting baby Claire, born last fall. If you see State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) around the Capitol, you’ll quickly and accurately determine she will add to her family in a month or two.
They’re examples of women who support a bill requiring Illinois employers to accommodate working women who stay on the job while pregnant. During debate, both praised the availability of comfortable chairs and water bottles in the House chamber. Not everyone can say that.
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The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), pointed to one woman’s case which has gotten publicity. “As a result of her not being able to afford to quit her job, or reasonable accommodations being made for her, she lost her child,” Flowers said.
Acknowledging that nobody is against babies or expectant mothers, State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) found the bill easy to dislike. “An earlier speaker said that this would not raise costs,” he said. “It of course will raise costs. An earlier speaker said it wouldn't increase litigation. That's folly.”