The Legislature passed a bipartisan, compromise bill to promote healthy outcomes for pregnant women and infants. Among other things, SB 5835 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation in employment for pregnancy unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. The bill passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law on May 16.
An attempt by legislators to update the state’s equal pay laws is still being negotiated. HB 1506 would expand the scope of current law, as well as enforcement provisions. That bill passed the House during the Regular Session and the 1st Special Session, but it did not pass the Senate. On May 25, the House again passed the bill during the 2nd Special Session. A Senate title-only bill, SB 5836, is in Senate Rules. If House and Senate negotiators can reach agreement on bill language, the bill may pass this year.
Negotiations between business community representatives and worker representatives are ongoing. Labor-backed HB 1116 went as far as the House Rules Committee, and SB 5149, a proposal friendlier to business, was introduced in the Senate. The issue polls well statewide, and failure to find a legislative solution will likely result in a statewide initiative.