The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (Act) was approved by the legislature last summer and went into effect April 1, 2018. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, please make yourself aware of your civil rights under the Act, and plan how you are going to exercise them.
A pregnant employee is not only afforded the right to be free from discrimination, but is also entitled to reasonable accommodations in her work schedule, duties and work environment. According to the Act: “‘Reasonable accommodation’, may include, but shall not be limited to: (i) more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks; (ii) time off to attend to a pregnancy complication or recover from childbirth with or without pay; (iii) acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; (iv) temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position; (v) job restructuring; (vi) light duty; (vii) private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk; (viii) assistance with manual labor; or (ix) a modified work schedule . . . .” Are any of these accommodations that apply to you?
Punishing an employee for exercising her rights under the Act is prohibited by the law. If an employee is terminated shortly after requesting accommodation under the Act, the proximity in time can be used as evidence of retaliation.
PAYING FOR LEGAL FEES AND THE COSTS OF LITIGATION
If an employee wins her case, the court shall order the employer to pay the legal fees and costs incurred by the employee.
The information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. In order to receive legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship, a person must first enter a formal agreement.