Indiana lacks job security for new parents and mothers - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Indiana lacks job security for new parents and mothers

SOUTH BEND -  A report from the National Partnership for Women and Families gave Indiana a' D-' grade in state support for job protection. The data says Indiana has no laws to guarantee job protection or leave for new or expecting parents. Indiana has one law that allows women to express breast milk in the workplace. The lack of protection under the law is especially affecting women.

In South Bend, Assistant Director at St. Margaret's House, Patricia Marvel says she sees mothers struggling to hold onto jobs all the time.

"A lot of women may be pregnant and lose their job because they're pregnant, or lose their job after they have the baby," says Marvel.

Former waitress at Mr. Moo's, Robby Carmon, says when she had her second child at 21 years old, her employer told her if she didn't come to work two days after her birth, she'd lose her job,

"It was kind of scary," says Carmon. "I didn't really know what to do and I wanted to spend time with my son but I didn't really have a choice."

Marvel says there's a fundamental problem with our culture.

"I think in Europe it's a different story, they have a much more lenient places to work that regard the family as the most important, whereas people believe in America it's all about the job and business is most important," says Marvel.

She says she thinks it's a necessity for most American families to have two sources of income for survival. She even thinks employers should feel like new moms have more incentive to work,

"The person that's working wants to come back because now they have children."

Marvel thinks the law needs to step in, or no one will.
"I'm Mr. employer or Mrs. employer and I'm not paying attention because I don't have to. I follow the law and the law says all I have to do is give you space to nurse your baby."

She adds it's not fair that a mom should have to miss out on raising her child to survive, and Carmon agrees.

"Well you know you don't really have a whole lot of time to bond so that kind of made me feel guilty," says Carmon about being unable to spend time with her newborn son.

Carmon has advice for young working women,

"If I would have made better choices I would have probably been able to make more money and if I was in that situation I probably would have been more prepared," she says.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce said no one was available to comment for our story.  The Saint Joseph County Chamber of Commerce told us it's not an issue they're focused on. 

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