Photo: State Rep. Dave Rogers speaking in the House chamber.
On Wednesday, May 10th the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed H3659, An Act establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, filed by Belmont State Rep. Dave Rogers (24th Middlesex “ABC” district).
The bill will “put our Commonwealth one step closer to ensuring that pregnant women in the workplace are protected from discrimination, filling key gaps in existing law,” said Rogers, who has represented Belmont and parts of Arlington and Cambridge since 2013.
“Today, once again, the Massachusetts House of Representatives has acted boldly to advance the cause of civil rights, women’s rights, and equal opportunity. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill I introduced, makes clear that women seeking a reasonable accommodation from their employers for certain conditions or needs related to their pregnancy must be treated fairly,” said Rogers
The bill adds pregnancy and its related conditions to existing employment non-discrimination laws as well as making it unlawful for an employer to deny a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. Accommodations may include:
- more frequent or longer breaks,
- time off to recover from childbirth,
- light duty,
- assistance with manual labor,
- temporary transfer to less strenuous or hazardous positions,
- a modified work schedule, and
- private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk.
“I thank Speaker DeLeo for his strong leadership, the 99 House colleagues who co-sponsored this legislation and the many courageous women who stepped forward to tell their stories while the bill was under consideration as – together – we send a powerful message in support of equal opportunity in our Commonwealth,” said Rogers.
“As I face my first Mother’s Day this weekend without my Mom and hero, Maxine Fitzgerald Rogers, I know she is with me today celebrating a milestone for equality and decency,” he said.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.