House backs accommodations for pregnant workers

By: The Associated Press

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BOSTON (AP) – Pregnant women would be offered more protections in the workplace under a bill that has won unanimous approval in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.              

The legislation would require employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant or nursing workers.

Such accommodations could include modified work schedules, temporary transfers to less strenuous positions or things as simple as a stool to sit on and more frequent bathroom breaks.             

The bill that passed the House Wednesday now moves to the Senate.             

Backers say that while the majority of employers in the state act responsibly, there have been stories in Massachusetts of pregnant women harassed or retaliated against, or forced to do manual labor that could jeopardize their health, or their unborn children.              

Supporters say 18 other states provide similar protections for pregnant workers.

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