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

Posted on March 13 2018 06:57 PM

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:

  • New employees at or prior to the commencement of employment; and
  • An employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or related condition, within 10 days of such notification.

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

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.

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