At Malonis Law Office, we focus our efforts on employment law, providing our clients with a multitude of service options. One area in which we serve is pregnancy discrimination. A new law came into effect in April 2018, having been first issued in January. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, also known as the Act, amends old Massachusetts state law that prohibited discrimination in employment. The law has been enforced by the state Commission Against Discrimination and prohibits discrimination on the job based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
With the new law in place, employers are required to accommodate pregnant workers based on the Act. Before the Act was created, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act the Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act provided certain protections for employees who are pregnant. According to these laws, a covered employer must treat women who are pregnant, as well as during childbirth and related medical conditions in the same way that they would other employees who have an inability to work or a lowered capacity. Accommodations must be made, such as light duty, due to pregnancy needs.
Employers now have new obligations they must follow to stay within the law regarding pregnant employees. The Act requires that employers accommodate employees that are pregnant or lactating, whether they are covered with a federal law impairment or not. This basically means that a pregnant employee is entitled to accommodations, within reason, based on being pregnant, even if they are healthy and enjoying a typical pregnancy.
The employer must not require the individual to provide medical documentation for certain accommodations such as visiting the restroom frequently or needed multiple food or water breaks. If seating is needed, private bathroom space for breast milk needs or limiting lifting to 20 pounds or less, also does not require medical documentation.
As of April 2018, employers were to provide employees with the written notice of their rights. New employees must be provided with the rights in writing and once an employer has been notified of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition. Employers are to provide the necessary documentation so that employees understand their rights and they must follow through with all the new requirements, providing a safe and comfortable working environment for every pregnant individual or a female employee with pregnancy-related needs.
The new legal changes were made to create a fairer work environment for pregnant employees and should be followed by every employer. If you find that you are pregnant, and your employer is not adhering to the regulations set forth in the new Act, then you have a legal claim. Our Massachusetts employment law attorneys are ready to fight for you. We can provide you with legal representation, holding your employer accountable for their actions or inaction, whatever the case may be.
Let Malonis Law Office handle your legal issues involving pregnancy discrimination. Contact our office today to have your case heard and let our team create a plan of action so you can be treated fairly based on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.