HR Alert

WA: Certain Employers Must Provide Reasonable Accommodation and Other Protections to Pregnant Employees

New Law Currently in Effect

Under a new law, certain employers in Washington must provide employment protections for pregnant employees.

Employer Prohibitions
Employers with 15 or more employees are generally prohibited from:

  • Failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodation for an employee for pregnancy, unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would impose an reasonable accommodation on the employer's business;
  • Taking adverse action against an employee who requests, declines, or uses an accommodation under the law;
  • Denying employment opportunities to an otherwise qualified employee if such denial is based on the employer's need to make reasonable accommodation required by the law; or
  • Requiring an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided for the employee's pregnancy.

Certification and Additional Provisions
An employer may generally request that the employee provide written certification from her treating health care professional regarding the need for reasonable accommodation--except for certain accommodations listed in the law (section: 1(d)).

Furthermore, the law generally does not require an employer to (among other things) create additional employment that the employer would not otherwise have created. Click here (section: 4) for exceptions and more information.

Additional details are available in the text of the law and by clicking here. The law is currently in effect.

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