Legislature Backs Protections for Pregnant Workers

BOSTON (AP) — Employers in Massachusetts would be required to offer pregnant workers “reasonable accommodations” under a proposal given unanimous approval by the state Senate.

The bill that passed on Thursday is similar to one that cleared the House last month and would prohibit discrimination in hiring or employment against workers who are pregnant or those who are nursing.

Employers would be required to make good faith efforts to accommodate the needs of pregnant workers. That could include a temporary transfer to less strenuous duties, or simply providing the women with a stool to sit on or more frequent bathroom breaks.

The bill received a boost earlier this year when MotherWoman, a Hadley-based advocacy group for working mothers, negotiated compromise language with Associated Industries of Massachusetts, an organization that represents thousands of employers.

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