Workplace Pregnancy Accommodations Now Law

(June 1) – Rep. Faith Winter’s Colorado Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which protects pregnant employees’ health and ability to work, was signed into law this afternoon by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

HB16-1438 ensures that pregnant workers are offered reasonable accommodations to protect a healthy pregnancy, including more frequent bathroom breaks, access to a water bottle, seating and, if available, transfer to a lighter duty position.

“This law is designed to ensure that no pregnant woman has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and her paycheck,” said Rep. Winter, D-Westminster. “When women are pushed out of the workplace because of pregnancy-related conditions, they lose income, economic security and benefits, including health insurance, at the time when they and their children are most in need of wages and benefits.”

The law will encourage employees and employers to engage in an interactive process to determine effective and reasonable accommodations that will help an employee maintain a healthy pregnancy and remain employed. It carries important safeguards, including a clarification that employees are not required to accept unwanted and unnecessary accommodations and that employers will not be required to provide any accommodation that would come with significant difficulty or expense.

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