State Senate passes bill to protect pregnant workers

The State House also approved similar legislation last month

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Senate unanimously voted to approve a bill to ensure that pregnant workers get reasonable accommodations on the job.

Senators passed the legislation on Thursday, known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, aimed at ending discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace.

The bill prevents employers from denying workers “reasonable accommodations,” including longer paid or unpaid breaks, seating, or transfer to a less strenuous job, unless it inhibits the employee from doing essential parts of their job.

The proposal also prohibits companies from refusing to hire a worker because of their pregnancy.

Critics of the proposal raised concerns that it could cause unfair financial and workforce hardships for businesses.

But supporters of the bill said that it would allow pregnant women to stay in their roles longer, saving companies from having to retrain new employees.

“The common sense of giving a pregnant woman a stool or allowing her access to water would simply be universal,” Linda O’Connell said.

The House also approved a similar legislation last month.