Effective April 1, 2018, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act amends the Massachusetts employment anti-discrimination statute. The Act expressly prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, including but not limited to lactation and the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. The Act also makes it unlawful for employers in Massachusetts to deny a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition if the employee requests an accommodation and such accommodation would not impose an undue hardship on the employer.



In addition to pregnancy-related conditions, employers are prohibited from the following:


• Take an adverse action against an employee or deny an employment opportunity to an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation;


• Require an employee to accept a particular accommodation, if that accommodation is unnecessary to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job;


• Require an employee to take a leave of absence if another reasonable accommodation would allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer; or


• Refuse to hire a person who is pregnant because of the pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, if the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with a reasonable accommodation that would not impose an undue hardship on the employer.



The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers to grant a reasonable accommodation, engage in an interactive process, and provide a written notice to employees of their rights to be free of discrimination.



To review additional guidance, click here. For any questions or concerns please contact the state agency.




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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.