What to Expect When You’re Expecting the MPWFA – A Reminder for Massachusetts Employers That New Rights for Pregnant Workers Take Effect April 1st
Posted on: Monday, March 26th, 2018
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“MPWFA”) takes effect on April 1, 2018, and Massachusetts employers should be updating their policies and practices accordingly.
The MPWFA prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation and the need for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The new law further requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for such conditions and to notify employees of their rights under the Act on or before April 1, 2018, and going forward, at the time of hiring and within 10 days of an employee’s notifying the employer of a condition covered by the Act.
More information on these obligations, and others arising under the MPWFA, can be found in the interpretive guidance issued in February by the MCAD, available here, and the full text of the law, available here.
While employers should review these resources in full, the MPWFA requires employers to assess reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis and engage in an interactive dialogue specific to the particular needs of each employee at issue. Accordingly, employers are encouraged to consult with counsel as the MPWFA goes into effect to ensure that company policies have been properly updated and notice requirements have been met, and thereafter to discuss specific situations as they arise.
If you would like to speak to an attorney in Holtz & Reed’s employment practice about the MPWFA, or other related matters, please contact our offices at (617) 720-0501.
This advisory is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances.