Work accommodations during pregnancy

Accommodations include more bathroom breaks and water at the workstation

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton wants to provide fair accommodations to pregnant women in the workforce. The Northampton City Council is the first municipality to support the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Resolution.

The resolution backs the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. which allows pregnant workers to be able to request basic and reasonable accommodations during the course of their pregnancy. Accommodations include more bathroom breaks, water at the workstation, a stool to sit on or a temporary shift of responsibilities.

MPFW Chair Liz Friedman told 22News many working mothers often struggle to hold onto their jobs, while trying to earn money to support their families. “A really minor accommodation would’ve made all the difference, allowed them to keep their jobs and would’ve given them the opportunity to have the safe pregnancy they deserve.”

The bill was first introduced in 2015 and Friedman says the State House is also in support of the bill and is expected to approve it as soon as possible.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, 75% of working women in the U.S. will be pregnant and employed at some point in their lives. Women who perform physically demanding jobs will face conflict while trying to juggle their jobs and the demands of pregnancy. NPWF says one in five discrimination charges made by women in the United States are associated with pregnancy.