Governor Baker Signs Bipartisan Pregnant Worker Protection Legislation
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today signed H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to extend protections to pregnant workers in the Commonwealth. The legislation will prohibit workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace. This includes access to less strenuous workloads, altered work schedules, time off with or without pay and private nursing space.
The Governor was joined by members of the Legislature at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which closes gaps in federal law for employers of six or more.
“This bipartisan legislation extends critical protections to women in the workplace and I thank the Legislature for their collaboration with advocates from both the women’s health and business communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These provisions are important to expectant and working moms supporting their families and raising healthy children.”
“As a working mom, I know how important it is to balance job responsibilities and family life to support our kids,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Ensuring women in the workplace raising their children have access to these protections is important to the strength and safety of our economy, families and communities.”
“No expecting mother should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This legislation would ensure that women’s medical needs are addressed without imposing undue burden on employers throughout Massachusetts.”
“This is a proud day for Massachusetts and reinforces our dedication to protecting our residents - especially as events in Washington threaten the safety and security of women,” said Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “By bringing diverse stakeholders to the table we drafted a consensus-based bill that can be implemented smoothly and stand the test of time. I want to sincerely thank the advocates who courageously shared their stories; they are heroes who have made Massachusetts a more just and safe place.”
"Pregnant workers will never again have to choose between keeping their job and the health of their pregnancy," said Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). "This bill becomes law with the full support of the Governor, legislature, advocates and employers. Pregnant workers and their families deserve the protections contained in this law to ensure their health, safety and prosperity. It is a clear recognition of the important role these individuals play in our households, economy and society."
Representative David Rogers (D-Cambridge) said, “Today, once again, Massachusetts 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 reasonable assistance from their employers for certain conditions or needs related to their pregnancy must be treated fairly. I thank Speaker DeLeo for his leadership, the ninety-nine of my House colleagues who co-sponsored this legislation and, most of all, the many courageous women who stepped forward to tell their stories while the bill was under consideration. Together today we send a powerful message in support of equal opportunity in our Commonwealth. And we must be mindful of the moment. It is particularly heartening that Massachusetts is taking this action at a time when many in our national government seem determined to go in the wrong direction on women’s rights.”