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Total Articles: 9

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

Executive Summary: A new Massachusetts law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, will expand existing legal protections for pregnant employees beginning April 1, 2018. Most notably, employers will be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation and the need to express breast milk.

Do Employers Have to Accommodate Pregnant Employees?

An amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers.

Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On July 27, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring Massachusetts employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers with “reasonable accommodations” for their pregnancies and any conditions related to their pregnancies. As a result, Massachusetts joins an increasing number of states across the country providing these rights. The Act, which takes effect on April 1, 2018, also provides pregnant women and new mothers with increased legal protection against discrimination in the workplace.

New Massachusetts Amendments Related to Gender Identity Discrimination Go Into Effect October 1: What Massachusetts Employers Should Know

The Massachusetts Legislature recently amended the General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 272 (M.G.L. ch. 272), to prohibit discrimination in places of public accommodation based on an individual’s gender identity. The amendments become effective October 1, 2016.

Massachusetts Enacts Transgender Restroom Law

Massachusetts has taken another step in protecting those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Effective October 1, 2016, individuals will have the legal right to use restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, regardless of their assigned sex. Additionally, no place of public accommodation (any place that is open to and solicits the patronage of the general public) will be allowed to discriminate or advertise in a way that discriminates based on gender identity.

Massachusetts Passes Transgender Accommodations Law

On July 11, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed Massachusetts's transgender accommodations bill into law, which will allow transgender individuals to use restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms that match their gender identities rather than the biological sex assigned at their birth.

Massachusetts' Gender Identity Law Goes Into Effect July 1, 2012

Massachusetts employers take note: Massachusetts' Transgender Equal Rights Bill, signed into law by Governor Patrick on November 23, 2011, goes into effect on July 1, 2012. Massachusetts is the 16th U.S. state, along with Washington, D.C., to offer transgendered individuals protection from discrimination, although the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has taken the position for years that transgendered individuals are protected under the definition of "sex" as a protected class.

Massachusetts Passes Legislation to Protect Gender Identity

On November 16, 2011, the Massachusetts legislature passed a transgender anti-discrimination bill, which Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign into law this week. If the bill is signed by the Governor, “gender identity” will become a protected category under Massachusetts non-discrimination statutes. The new law also will add gender identity as a protected category to several laws intended to protect people from hate crimes and harassment.

The Massachusetts Same-Sex Marriage Rulings And The FMLA.

The Department of Labor's recent Administrative Interpretation regarding FMLA leave for those acting in loco parentis to a child placed the spotlight on the application of FMLA leave to same-sex couples with children. However, the ruling did not address how the FMLA applies to situations where an employee seeks FMLA leave to provide care not for a child, but for a same-sex partner or spouse.