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Vermont Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Conditions

Posted on May 17 2017 01:52 PM

Law Contains New Employer Notice Requirement

Under a new law in Vermont, effective January 1, 2018, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's pregnancy-related condition, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

Definitions
"Pregnancy-related condition" means a limitation of an employee's ability to perform the functions of a job caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

"Reasonable accommodation" means the changes and modifications which can be made in the structure of a job or in the manner in which a job is performed, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Reasonable accommodation may include (among other things (§ 12)) job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, and other similar actions.

Factors to be considered in determining whether an undue hardship is imposed by the requirement that reasonable accommodation be made for an individual with a disability include the overall size of the employer's operation with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget; and the cost for the accommodation needed.

Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Conditions
Under the new law, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's pregnancy-related condition, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

An employee with a pregnancy-related condition—regardless of whether the employee is an "individual with a disability" as defined under state law—must have the same rights and be subject to the same standards with respect to the provision of a reasonable accommodation as a qualified individual with a disability as defined under state nondiscrimination law (§ 6).

Note: The law may not be construed to indicate or deem that a pregnancy-related condition necessarily constitutes a disability. Furthermore, the law does not diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of an employee under federal or state law, a collective bargaining agreement, or an employment contract.

Notice
An employer must post notice of the provisions of the law in a form provided by the State of Vermont in a place conspicuous to employees at the employer's place of business.

The law takes effect January 1, 2018. Click here to read the text of the law.

To review other laws specific to Vermont, visit the State Laws section, click on Vermont, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.