Lawmakers consider accommodations for pregnant workers

Take a tour of the Massachusetts State House, one of the oldest buildings on Beacon Hill.
Massachusetts State House. –Flickr/wallygobetz

BOSTON (AP) — Pregnant women would be offered more protections in the workplace under a bill scheduled to be considered by the state House.

The legislation would require employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant or nursing workers. Such accommodations could include modified work schedules, temporary transfers to less strenuous positions or things as simple as a stool to sit on and more frequent bathroom breaks.

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the bill.

After falling short of final passage in the last legislative session, the bill received a major boost earlier this year. Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a group that represents thousands of employers, and MotherWoman, a Hadley-based advocacy group for working women, agreed on compromise language.

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Supporters say 18 other states provide similar protections for pregnant workers.

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