updated: 1/30/2008 3:44:37 PM

Senate Passes Legislation For Mothers Returning to Work

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Indiana Senate has approved a bill that would create new provisions for women returning to work after a maternity leave. The legislation would require any business with 25 or more employees to make a reasonable effort to provide a private place for an employee to pump breast milk for her child. It also requires the business to provide some form of refrigeration to store the milk.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville) successfully presented a bill before the Senate this week aimed at helping mothers who return to work after maternity leave. Senate Bill (SB) 219, a proposal to ensure breastfeeding mothers’ right to take care of their health needs while at work, was approved by a vote of 47-1.

“Breastfeeding is a natural, efficient way for mothers to provide for their children,” said Simpson. “In Indiana, 63% of women begin breastfeeding at birth. That rate decreases to 30 percent after three months, mostly due to mothers returning to the workforce. By ensuring women will have the support of their employers to pump breast milk at work, we are hoping the 30percent rate increases.”

SB 219 would require any business with 25 or more employees to make a reasonable effort to provide a private place for an employee to express breast milk for her child and to provide some form of refrigeration to store the milk.

Simpson also noted SB 219 would benefit employers. Women with infants are the fastest growing section of the labor force, and breastfeeding typically causes lower healthcare costs for mother and child. Providing time and private space for a mother to express breast milk will also reduce absentee rates and improve the ability of an employer to retain employees.

The bill will now be sent to the House for consideration

For more information on Senator Simpson, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.senatedemocrats.in.gov.

Source: Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus

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