HR Alert

Massachusetts Issues Guidance and Questions and Answers on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Guidance May Be Used to Fulfill Law's Notice Requirement

Massachusetts has issued guidance and Q&As on its Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which takes effect April 1, 2018.

Guidance and Q&As
Among other things, the guidance and Q&As address the following topics:

  • The law's prohibition against discrimination based on pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions;
  • The right to a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy;
  • Break time for nursing mothers;
  • The mandatory interactive process; and
  • The exception for undue hardship.

Notice Requirement
Under the law, a covered employer must provide written notice in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means to its employees of the right to be free from pregnancy discrimination (including the right to reasonable accommodations) on or before April 1, 2018. Written notice must also be provided to:

  • The law's prohibition against discrimination based on pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions;
  • The right to a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy;
  • Break time for nursing mothers;
  • The mandatory interactive process; and
  • The exception for undue hardship.

The guidance discussed above may be used to fulfill the law's notice requirement. Click here for more details.

Background
The law--applicable to employers with 6 or more employees--generally prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy or a related condition (e.g., lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child). A covered employer generally may not deny a reasonable accommodation for an employee's pregnancy or any related condition, if the employee so requests. Click here for more details.


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