A pregnancy discrimination case before the US Supreme Court now hinges on legal language that’s open to interpretation. But two Rhode Island cities have written their own rules about pregnant workers.
Central Falls and Providence both passed city-wide ordinances earlier this year to protect pregnant workers from on-the-job discrimination. Women’s Fund of Rhode Island spokeswoman Shandi Hanna said employers in those cities must now give pregnant workers reasonable accommodations, like extra bathroom breaks or lighter duties. And that’s a trend she’d like to see continue.
During a Friday morning speech at Rhode Island College, President Obama touted economic improvements during his administration and called for enhanced efforts to help women at home and in the workplace. The president didn't mention Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo during his speech, although he did treat her to lunch afterward at the Gregg's restaurant on North Main Street in Providence.
Obama began with some Halloween-related humor and a recognition of Rhode Island's congressional delegation before pointing to a series of economic indicators:
Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed legislation that requires health care providers to tell women if they have dense breast tissue. The law is aimed at helping detect cancers a mammogram might miss.
Dense breast tissue is pretty common, especially in younger women. The issue is that dense tissue can make it more difficult for a mammogram to “see” cancerous growths. You may not be able to tell whether your breasts are made up of more dense tissue, but a radiologist can see it on a mammogram.
Reactions are still coming in to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby (that decision, that the company is not required to cover contraceptives as part of employees' health insurance, can be read here.). Here are a few so far. Keep in mind, more decisions related to this one are expected.
Tuesday was Pay Equity Day – the day when women’s 2013 earnings equal those of men’s pay for all of 2012. The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island took advantage of the occasion to take stock of the pay equity gap that faces women in the state today.
Rhode Island’s quarter-of-a-million working women continue to earn substantially less than men. According to data compiled by the Women’s Fund, Rhode Island men earn on average $37,000 a year, compared to $24,000 for women. The gap widens for people with college degrees.