HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 955        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1038


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



David M. Rogers


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act establishing the Massachusetts pregnant workers fairness act.






David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

José F. Tosado

9th Hampden

Jack Lewis

7th Middlesex

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Joan B.  Lovely

Second Essex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Christine P. Barber

34th Middlesex

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

Daniel M. Donahue

16th Worcester

Daniel Cahill

10th Essex

Solomon Goldstein-Rose

3rd Hampshire

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Adrian Madaro

1st Suffolk

Brendan P. Crighton

Third Essex

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

John J. Lawn, Jr.

10th Middlesex

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Paul A. Schmid, III

8th Bristol

Carmine L. Gentile

13th Middlesex

Susannah M. Whipps

2nd Franklin

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

John C. Velis

4th Hampden

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

28th Middlesex

Carole A. Fiola

6th Bristol

John H. Rogers

12th Norfolk

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Carlos González

10th Hampden

Dylan Fernandes

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Paul W. Mark

2nd Berkshire

Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Patrick M. O'Connor

Plymouth and Norfolk

Diana DiZoglio

14th Essex

William C. Galvin

6th Norfolk

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Keiko M. Orrall

12th Bristol

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Joan Meschino

3rd Plymouth

Jay D. Livingstone

8th Suffolk

Daniel Cullinane

12th Suffolk

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

Donald F. Humason, Jr.

Second Hampden and Hampshire

Hannah Kane

11th Worcester

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

Paul R. Heroux

2nd Bristol

Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

12th Worcester

Bud Williams

11th Hampden

Michael J. Finn

6th Hampden

Natalie Higgins

4th Worcester

Daniel J. Ryan

2nd Suffolk

Stephen Kulik

1st Franklin

Colleen M. Garry

36th Middlesex

Jeffrey N. Roy

10th Norfolk

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Michael S. Day

31st Middlesex

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Paul Tucker

7th Essex

Juana B. Matias

16th Essex

John J. Mahoney

13th Worcester

Evandro C. Carvalho

5th Suffolk

Danielle W. Gregoire

4th Middlesex

RoseLee Vincent

16th Suffolk

Mike Connolly

26th Middlesex

Byron Rushing

9th Suffolk

Walter F. Timilty

Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth

Kathleen O'Connor Ives

First Essex

Barbara A. L'Italien

Second Essex and Middlesex

Daniel J. Hunt

13th Suffolk

Bruce J. Ayers

1st Norfolk

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

William Driscoll

7th Norfolk

Jonathan D. Zlotnik

2nd Worcester

Kate D. Campanale

17th Worcester

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

Eileen M. Donoghue

First Middlesex

Gerard Cassidy

9th Plymouth

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex

Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

16th Middlesex

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Marc R. Pacheco

First Plymouth and Bristol

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

Nick Collins

4th Suffolk

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Stephan Hay

3rd Worcester

Michelle M. DuBois

10th Plymouth

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 955        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1038

By Mr. Rogers of Cambridge, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1038) of David M. Rogers and others relative to protecting pregnant workers from discrimination in the workplace.  Labor and Workforce Development.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court



An Act establishing the Massachusetts pregnant workers fairness act.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 4 of chapter 151B of the General Laws is hereby amended

by striking out, in line 5, the word “or” and inserting, in line 6, after the words “ancestry

of any individual”, the following words:-

or pregnancy, or a related condition, including, but not limited to, the need to

express breast milk for a nursing child.

SECTION 2. Said section 4 is hereby amended by inserting after subsection 1D

the following subsection:-

1E. (a) For an employer to deny reasonable accommodations for any condition

of an employee related to pregnancy or related conditions if the employee so requests,

unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue

hardship on the employer’s program, enterprise, or business. It shall also be an unlawful

practice under this subsection to:

(1) take adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable

accommodation in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, including, but not

limited to, failing to reinstate the employee to her original job or to an equivalent position

with equivalent pay and accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits and other

applicable service credits when her need for reasonable accommodations ceases;

(2) deny employment opportunities to a employee, if such denial is based on the

need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations to the known conditions

related to the pregnancy or related conditions of the employee;

(3) require an employee affected by pregnancy or related conditions to accept an

accommodation that such employee chooses not to accept, if such an accommodation is

unnecessary to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of her job;

(4) require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can

be provided to the known conditions related to the pregnancy or related conditions of an

employee without undue hardship to the employer;

(5) refuse to hire a person who is affected by pregnancy or a related condition,

capable of performing the essential functions of the position involved with reasonable

accommodation, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would

impose an undue hardship on the employer’s program, enterprise or business.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection:

(1) The term “reasonable accommodations” may include, but not be limited to:

more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks, time off to recover from childbirth with or

without pay, acquisition or modification of equipment, seating, temporary transfer to a

less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, break time and private

non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, assistance with manual labor, or

modified work schedules; and provided further, that no employer shall be required to

discharge any employee, transfer any employee with more seniority, or promote any

employee who is not qualified to perform the job. An employee not able to perform the

essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation may be considered not


(2) The term “related conditions” shall include, but not be limited to, lactation or

the need to express breast milk for a nursing child.

(3) The term “undue hardship” shall mean an action requiring significant

difficulty or expense. The employer shall have the burden of proving undue hardship. In

making a determination of undue hardship, factors to be considered include:

(i) the nature and cost of the accommodation;

(ii) the overall financial resources of the employer; the overall size of the

business of the employer with respect to the number of employees, and the number, type,

and location of its facilities;

(iii) the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of such

accommodation upon the operation of the employer.

(d) The employer and employee shall engage in a timely, good faith, and

interactive process to determine effective reasonable accommodations to enable the

employee to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job. An employer may

require that the documentation about the need for reasonable accommodation come from

an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional. An employee shall not be

required to obtain documentation from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation

professional for the following accommodations: (1) more frequent restroom, food, and

water breaks; (2) seating; and (3) limits on lifting over 20 pounds.

The appropriate professional in any particular situation will depend on the issue

related to pregnancy or related condition and the type of functional limitation it imposes

including duration. Appropriate professionals include, but are not limited to, doctors

(including psychiatrists), psychologists, nurses, physical therapists, occupational

therapists, speech therapists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, midwives, lactation

consultants, and licensed mental health professionals. An employer may require

documentation for any extension of the accommodation beyond the originally agreed to

accommodation. In requesting documentation, employers should specify what types of

information they are seeking regarding the accommodation, its functional limitations, and

the need for reasonable accommodation. The individual can be asked to sign a limited

release allowing the employer to submit a list of specific questions to the health care or

vocational professional.

(e) Written notice of the right to be free from discrimination in relation to

pregnancy and related conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations for

conditions related to pregnancy or related conditions, pursuant to this subsection shall be

distributed in a handbook or other means to:

(1) new employees at the commencement of employment;

(2) existing employees within 120 days after the effective date of the law that

added this subsection;

(3) any employee who notifies the employer of her pregnancy within 10 days of

such notification.

(f) The commission shall develop courses of instruction and conduct ongoing

public education efforts as necessary to inform employers, employees, and employment

agencies, about their rights and responsibilities under this subsection.

(g) This subsection shall not be construed to preempt, limit, diminish or

otherwise affect any other provision of law relating to sex discrimination or pregnancy, or

in any way to diminish the coverage for pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy

under section 105D of chapter 149, or any other special or general law.