BOSTON – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today, July 27, signed H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to extend protections to pregnant workers in the Commonwealth.
The legislation will prohibit workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace. This includes access to less strenuous workloads, altered work schedules, time off with or without pay and private nursing space.
The Governor was joined by members of the Legislature at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which closes gaps in federal law for employers of six or more.
“This bipartisan legislation extends critical protections to women in the workplace and I thank the Legislature for their collaboration with advocates from both the women’s health and business communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These provisions are important to expectant and working moms supporting their families and raising healthy children.”
“As a working mom, I know how important it is to balance job responsibilities and family life to support our kids,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Ensuring women in the workplace raising their children have access to these protections is important to the strength and safety of our economy, families and communities.”
“No expecting mother should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This legislation would ensure that women’s medical needs are addressed without imposing undue burden on employers throughout Massachusetts.”
“This is a proud day for Massachusetts and reinforces our dedication to protecting our residents – especially as events in Washington threaten the safety and security of women,” said Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “By bringing diverse stakeholders to the table we drafted a consensus-based bill that can be implemented smoothly and stand the test of time. I want to sincerely thank the advocates who courageously shared their stories; they are heroes who have made Massachusetts a more just and safe place.”
“Everyone deserves a safe, healthy work environment, and that includes pregnant and nursing workers,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka, who represents Framingham. “These are common-sense, reasonable protections to ensure that pregnant workers can continue to work, without jeopardizing their health or the health of their pregnancies.”
“The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is an important step towards achieving equality in the workplace. We know that 75 percent of women will be pregnant at some point in their working lives and too often they are forced out of their jobs – or forced to take absences from work – at a time when they and their families need the income and job stability the most. This law will help ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodations to address the needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers. I applaud Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Rosenberg and the House and Senate for passing this legislation, and thank Governor Baker for signing it into law today,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.