At the end of July, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (MPWFA), which is designed to ensure pregnant and nursing employees are protected under Chapter 151B: Unlawful Discrimination similarly to other groups specified in this act.
What Does the MPWFA mean?
The MPWFA makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of or a condition related to pregnancy and to deny reasonable accommodations for pregnant or nursing employees. Some of the most common modifications include more frequent bathroom breaks, meal or water breaks, and rest breaks.
As a company that provides payroll and some HR services to businesses in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area, abc Payroll has some suggestions to match new compliances with this law come its effect on April 1, 2018:
- Review policies regarding meal, rest, and bathroom breaks, pregnancy-related leaves, and other similar accommodations to ensure there are practices in place for pregnant employees or employees with pregnancy-related conditions. This accommodation includes access to a private non-bathroom for nursing or pumping.
- Evaluate and adjust employee handbooks to ensure pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions are listed as protected categories under anti-discrimination and retaliation sections.
- Provide a form of written notice to employees of these rights before the effective April 1 date.
Protecting your business and employees is one of the most crucial steps you can take as federal and state laws are created, and abc Payroll wants our clients to be prepared. Our professionals suggest reviewing any and all other policies that might be impacted by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions to ensure reasonable accommodations have been decided upon before the questions arise.
With more questions about our services and how we can help you prepare your small business for the future, please contact our team today by calling (978) 251-3003.