DC Again- The Term “Labor Law” Takes on New Meaning As DC Passes New Pregnancy Protections

D.C. has passed the Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014, which will require employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for employees who are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, a related medical condition, or breastfeeding.

Specifically, it will be unlawful for an employer to:

• refuse to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding for an employee that would not pose an undue hardship;

• take an adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation;

• deny employment opportunities to an employee or job applicant if the denial is based on the request for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding;

• require an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding to accept an accommodation that the employee does not want if the employee does not have a known limitation related to pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding or the accommodation is not necessary for the employee to perform her duties; or

• require an employee to take leave if a different reasonable accommodation can be provided.

The law will require that employers post and maintain a notice of rights in both English and Spanish. The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 will take effect following a 30-day period of congressional review and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

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