Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1

Massachusetts employers will face new obligations regarding pregnant women and new mothers when the state’s new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) takes effect on April 1. AleksandarNakic / E+ / Getty Images The PWFA requires employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers “reasonable accommodations” both for their pregnancies and for any conditions related to their pregnancies. It also creates a new protected class under the state’s antidiscrimination statute, Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 151B, which applies to employers with six or more employees. “Related conditions” under the Act include but are not limited to breastfeeding or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. Under the Act, a pregnant woman or new mother no longer needs to meet the “qualified handicapped individual” standard, as would be the case if she were asking for an accommodation based on a disability. An employer need not provide an accommodation if it…

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