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Massachusetts House Passes Pregnant Workers Rights Bill

A bill passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives would require employers to provide “reasonable accommodation” for pregnant women and nursing mothers, provided they don’t cause the business undue hardship. Undue hardship is defined as an action that requires significant difficulty or expense and takes into account the following five factors:

• Nature and cost of the accommodation;

• Overall financial resources of the employer;

• Employer size with respect to number of employees;

• Number, type and location of facilities; and

• The effect on expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise of the accommodation upon the operation of the employer. Employers may require a doctor’s note to justify the accommodation.

Similar measures have been passed in 19 other states and was reintroduced in Congress this month. The Massachusetts Senate has endorsed the bill and Gov. Charlie Baker has expressed his support, so the bill is expected to pass quickly through the legislature and go to the governor for his signature.

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