A new law went into effect this week, protecting pregnant women and new moms from work place discrimination.
Among the new accommodations, employers must provide frequent or longer breaks, and a private non-bathroom space for new moms to pump breast milk.
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act went into effect on April 1. The new law provides soon-to-be and new moms more protection than the state’s previous laws to prevent employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy.
Attorney James Winston in Northampton told 22News, “What this does is go beyond that and says, ‘now a pregnant employee may need longer rest breaks, may need more frequent rest breaks. After having a baby, needs a place to express breast milk.”
According to Attorney Winston, the previous law did not mandate an employer to provide those accommodations. Under the new law, employers have to provide reasonable accommodations for new moms, something the ‘Esselon Cafe’ in Hadley told 22News, they’ve already been doing.
“Like they can go at any point, there’s no clocking out. It’s completely within their rights to have that time and space,” said Lillian Jones from the Esselon Cafe.
Employers must provide employees with written notice of their rights. New employees must be informed at the time of hire.
Once a soon-to-be mom informs her employer that she’s expecting, they have 10 days to provide her with written notice of her new rights.