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The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was signed into law by Governor Baker on July 27, 2017.  Chapter 54 of the Acts of 2017  grants more protections against discrimination to pregnant workers in Massachusetts.   Specifically the law prohibits an employer from denying a reasonable request for accommodation “for any condition related to the employee’s pregnancy including, but not limited to, lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child…”  Examples of reasonable accommodation include a modified work schedule or light duty, longer paid or unpaid breaks, and a private area for expressing milk.  After the need for an accommodation is over, an employer cannot discriminate against the employee by  “failing to reinstate the employee to the original employment status or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay…”    A request for reasonable accommodation can be denied if the employer can prove that the request would create an undue hardship.  The statute becomes effective on April 1, 2018.

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