Columbia City Council passed an ordinance to protect women in the workplace from discrimination on Monday evening. The ordinance was proposed by Chair of the Commission of Human Rights Zach Rubin. It was drafted after Rubin received several complaints from women in Columbia in regards to discrimination their employers.
“The goal would be to prevent anybody from getting fired for the decision to have a child, or to adopt in that case. Reproductive non-discrimination is what we call it,” said Rubin.
The ordinance advocates for equal treatment of women who have children, are pregnant, or are considering having children and are being discriminated against in the workplace.
Misty Larkin, the community relations director of Central Missouri Community Action, said the ordinance should bring hope to women in Columbia, but there is still work to be done.
“It’s a step in the right direction in terms of evaluating certain vulnerable classes in our community and figuring out ways to protect them and make sure they are afford the opportunities that they need to be successful in the workplace,” said Larkin.
The ordinance, which is an extension of federal protections already in place, may eventually provide resources to expecting mothers in the future. The passing of the ordinance is not expected to have negative repercussions for employers.