Accommodating women ma

Liz Friedman of Northampton, the former program director of Mother Woman, said she knew nothing about the legislative process before she started lobbying for the bill three years ago.

It would also require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.It passed the Senate last session as an amendment to an unrelated bill but did not make it through the House.At the time, business groups voiced concerns with the details of the bill."We had Republicans, we had Democrats, we had the business community, we had advocates all working together striking sensible compromises to craft a really fine piece of legislation that on the one hand protects women who are pregnant in the workplace but at the same time sets reasonable standards for employers," Rogers said.

An amendment adopted on the House floor would require the state to study ways to improve online access to information about eligibility for state benefits to pregnant low-income women. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, called the bill a matter of "economic justice" for women.

"It's these discriminatory practices that keep women down," she said. Ellen Story, D-Amherst, who introduced the original bill and has since retired, returned to the Statehouse to celebrate the bill's passage.