The Council of the District of Columbia recently passed The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014. This act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace “for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, a related medical condition, or breastfeeding . . . .” “Reasonable accommodations,” generally, are any accommodations that do not cause undue hardship in the operation of the particular business. “Reasonable accommodations” can include, but are not limited to, providing a private space (non-bathroom) for expressing breast milk, providing more frequent or longer breaks, providing time off to recover from childbirth, and having employees refrain from heavy lifting.
An employer is prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation related to her pregnancy. An employer also is prohibited from refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee. An employer does, however, have the right to ask an employee to provide documentation from her health care provider certifying that the reasonable accommodations are necessary.
An employee injured under this law may initiate an administrative action or bring a civil action in court. For more information or for a consultation regarding your legal issues, please contact McCollum & Associates, LLC, at (301) 864-6070, www.jmlaw.net, or email@example.com.