St. Louis Passes an Employee’s Reproductive Health Care Decisions Ordinance

On February 13, 2017, Ordinance 70459 took effect in the city of St. Louis. The new law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s reproductive health decisions or pregnancy. Reproductive health decision is defined as “any decision related to the use or intended use of a particular drug, device, or medical service related to reproductive health, including the use or intended use of contraception or fertility control or the planned or intended initiation or termination of a pregnancy.” Similarly, the state of Missouri introduced a bill that would protect employees from discrimination based on an employee’s reproductive health decisions if passed.

Under Ordinance 70459, employers in St. Louis are banned from taking an adverse employment action, such as firing, refusing to hire or demoting, based on an employee’s reproductive health care decision by the employee or employee’s dependent. Furthermore, employers, labor organizations or employment agencies are prohibited from printing or circulating any statement, advertisement or publication that expresses any preference, limitation, specification or discrimination because of reproductive health decisions.

The Ordinance clarifies that a religious institution, corporation, association, society, health care facility or educational institution are allowed to prohibit reproductive health services on their property and may choose to refuse to provide or pay for reproductive health services for their employees. Individuals claiming to have been injured by a discriminatory act or practice have 180 days  after an alleged prohibited discriminatory practice has occurred to file a complaint with the Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency.  For more information on the new law click here.

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