To: The Salem News
From: Senator Joan B. Lovely
Date: 28 February 2017

To the editor:

I am pleased to report that my colleagues in the state Legislature and representatives from MotherWoman and Associated Industries of Massachusetts have been able to work together, find common ground and reach an agreement on legislation to extend employment protection to pregnant workers in Massachusetts. I am proud to be part of this collaborative process that has resulted in a compromise pregnant workers bill that will both protect pregnant workers and support businesses.

I, with my colleague state Rep. David Rogers of Belmont, have refiled the legislation this session. The bill, SD338, includes provisions that will: provide clarity regarding definitions and terms related to pregnancy accommodations; align state and federal laws; provide flexibility rather than mandating specific types of accommodations; provide a defined process; and allow for certain accommodations to be paid or unpaid.

I would like to thank AIM for its willingness to work together on this bill with all interested parties. It is sometimes easy to confuse opposition to draft provisions of a bill with opposition to the issue itself. AIM’s willingness to seek compromise on this important piece of legislation is what paved the way toward consensus and illustrates their shared commitment to ensuring healthy workplaces.

I would also like to thank MotherWoman, the lead advocacy organization for the bill, for their dedication and persistence which added to a cooperative process and improved proposal. The work of MotherWoman has only been matched by the strong advocacy of former state Rep. Ellen Story, who pushed hard for these much-needed reforms year after year.

It is my sincere hope that by continuing our work together, the Pregnant Workers Fairness bill will be considered by the full Legislature this session and sent to the governor for his approval.

Joan B. Lovely

State Senator, 2nd Essex District