Pregnant Worker Protections Signed Into Massachusetts Law

by | July 31, 2017 AT 12:05 PM

By Phil Demers

A bill requiring employers to provide "reasonable accommodations" to pregnant employees and banning termination or hiring discrimination against women because of pregnancy has become law in Massachusetts.

Gov. Charlie Baker signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on Thursday afternoon during a ceremony at the Statehouse. The bill will go into effect on April 1, 2018.

State lawmakers in the Legislature approved the bill two weeks ago.

Current disability protections do not cover women with healthy pregnancies.

The bill promises to apply disability standards to pregnancy, by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations upon request unless doing so would impose undue hardship on the business.

Reasonable accommodations include more frequent breaks to eat, drink or use the bathroom, time off to recover from childbirth, modification of equipment, seating, a temporary transfer to an easier role, limits on lifting heavy objects, a private space for nursing or a modified work schedule.

(c)2017, Springfield, Mass.