Lawmaker: Pregnant Workers Who Want Accommodations Should Quit


A South Dakota Republican this week offered an unusual solution for workers denied on-the-job pregnancy accommodations: quit.

Rep. Wayne H. Steinhauer (R-Minnehaha) was on a panel of state lawmakers, all men, who voted 8 to 3 Monday to shelve a bill requiring reasonable workplace accommodations during and after pregnancy, including frequent or longer breaks, modified work schedules, and private non-bathroom space for breastfeeding.

“It’s not prison. You can quit,” Steinhauer, a business owner, said during a Monday hearing of the House Commerce and Energy Committee on the bill, HB 1120. “You’ve got a choice every day. You make a choice whether you come to work. And I’m here to tell you, if a person’s not allowing you to breastfeed at work or making appropriate accommodations at work, we can pass this law, but you don’t want to work for that guy. Get the heck out of there.”


Shameful and NOT “pro-life.” What a disgrace. This is how we treat women who choose life?

Absolutely shameful. :mad:


Awful. Our society does not provide nearly enough support for working mothers before and after birth.


A lot of businesses, especially small businesses, don’t have the financial margin to afford these accommodations. Most businesses don’t have a pile of money sitting around to redesign the office space for nursing mothers. The solution for most of these businesses will be not to hire women of child-bearing age.

If “society” wants to provide support, than society should fund it. In this case what you have is “society” imposing additional costs on a business to advance a goal they’re not willing to pay for themselves. If these goals are important societal goals than they should be funded by the broader society. “Society” should agree to tax themselves (not just the rich or future generations through borrowing) to provide these benefits.


If “society” decides that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder and that the state has an interest in defending the unborn, then yes, “society” should help fund costs related to prenatal care and delivery and maternity leave.

This, in a nutshell, is why the mainstream media no longer uses the term “pro-life” and instead defers to the phrase “anti-abortion.” How is it “pro-life” to slam the door (literally as well as metaphorically) to mothers who choose life? How is it “pro-life” to deny working mothers the opportunity to nurse their child?

Setting aside for a moment that nursing a child can be done at desk, sitting down, without any terrible imposition on the part of a business: how exactly would you suggest “women of child-bearing age” pay for basic living expenses if it’s too much of risk for businesses to hire them? Never live in South Dakota?


Society does help fund the costs related to prenatal care, delivery, and maternity leave. You’re problem is you think that commitment should be open ended and that the mother and her family should have no responsibility at all. You would put the entire burden on society. My solution would be for women to get married before they decide to have children. I know that’s archaic and against the modern theology of having everything now, but it worked for millennia while the current system apparently isn’t.


There are married women with children who still want to or need to work.


I dont know about that, I mean, companies are forced to accommodate handicapped workers and for the most part that has worked out fine. and really if these businesses are doing so poorly that they cannot meet these requirements or able to pay a living wage for people to live on, maybe there is something wrong with their business model.

I find it comical when things like this are proposed all these businesses give the sob story, explain how they are so broke, and are barely staying afloat, but then yearly profits skyrocket year after year.


Ok, they get married first, then they have a baby after already married, and then they’re still fired once they get pregnant and then need maternity leave. Or she quits her job because that job wouldn’t allow reasonable accomodation. How is that “pro-life”? It’s called reasonable accomodation.


I also love how 6-8 weeks of maternity leave is considered reasonable or even generous by some.


Not all businesses are huge corporations with hefty profit margins.

Some businesses are family run grocery stores or housecleaning businesses or family run diners. They may operate on a very thin profit margin. Add to that a law that mandates accommodations for pregnant employees and that could drive them out of business.


Small companies are often exempt from having to provide accommodations like these.


This is only an issue because of the number of women in the workplace and the moral decay that led to vast numbers of unwed mothers. The only thing that has benefited from women in the workplace is the state. With more workers it takes in more taxes. All the economic grains of women in the workplace has been slurped up by the state through taxes. The state is most happy to replace the family as it has.


“Want” implies that they don’t have to. That they choose to put their child in daycare to pursue their own goals at the expense of their children. I wouldn’t call that particularly “pro-life”. Need is a bit tougher, but I’m still not understanding why it is the woman’s employer who is forced to bear the burden for the woman’s choice.

Most companies aren’t in the Fortune 500 (the 500 should be the tip-off).

“Reasonable” is a completely subjective term. A cost that a Fortune 500 company can easily absorb is not so easily absorbed by the small plumbing or construction concern.



Wow. So a woman who is a heart surgeon or a cancer researcher or a human rights lawyer should just go back to the kitchen?


That’s every bit as insulting as saying women can’t do those jobs.


A woman has to determine what her vocation is. If it is to be a mother then that is what it is. The same is true for men who are fathers. But the father has a different role then the mother. Being a mother and at the same time being a heart surgeon is difficult. The later role would be extremely problematic for faithfully carrying out the first.

We see an example of this choice with our priests. Priests decide to be spiritual fathers and in so doing give up being biological fathers.


What does in the world does “unwed mothers” have to do with MARRIED mothers who still get fired, or in the suggestion of this lawmaker should just quit, because they CHOOSE LIFE and would like consideration for maternity leave and nursing a child?

Isn’t this the complete opposite of “moral decay”? Choosing life? :shrug:


There is another side to this. My wife, the working parent, is often pregnant at work.
And even she will tell you that the first time pregnant people are almost insane with excuses and exceptions.
Companies should be protected from employees who abuse any system they can.
They also should be reasonable in helping expectant mothers. But bottom line, if your job is lifting heavy bags of fish onto the loading dock, and you are pregnant and somehow want someone else to do it for you, that is not really fair. If you need extra bathroom breaks then that is probably a reasonable request.


If we are going to examine choices then we need to examine all of them. America is a wealthy country. Our poorest people have things rich people not that long ago only dreamt of. Could we do with less in order that mothers not work? I think so.

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