Massachusetts Governor Signs Bipartisan Pregnant Worker Protection Legislation

August 16, 2017

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker last month signed H. 3680, a bipartisan bill to extend protections to pregnant workers in the state.

The legislation, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, will prohibit workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, as well as require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace. This includes access to less strenuous workloads, altered work schedules, time off with or without pay and private nursing space.

“These provisions are important to expectant and working moms supporting their families and raising healthy children,” Baker said in a press release issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts press office.

The Governor was joined by members of the legislature at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3680, which closes gaps in federal law for employers of six or more.

“As a working mom, I know how important it is to balance job responsibilities and family life to support our kids,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said in the release. “Ensuring women in the workplace raising their children have access to these protections is important to the strength and safety of our economy, families and communities.”

Representative David Rogers (D-Cambridge) explained in the release that The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was a bill he introduced in order to make it clear that women seeking reasonable assistance from their employers for certain conditions or needs related to their pregnancy must be treated fairly.

He thanked Speaker of the Massachusetts House Robert DeLeo and his ninety-nine House colleagues who co-sponsored the legislation. Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem) added in the release that this bill became a law with the full support of the Governor, legislature, advocates and employers.

“No expecting mother should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said in the release. “This legislation would ensure that women’s medical needs are addressed without imposing undue burden on employers throughout Massachusetts.”

Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts Press Office

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