In response to the Massachusetts Senate’s unanimous vote today in favor of passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, released the following statement:
“Protecting pregnant Bay Staters from workplace discrimination is an essential part of reproductive freedom. We applaud the Massachusetts Senate for listening to advocates in our Commonwealth and responding to the urgent need to establish workplace protections for pregnant workers, and we encourage Governor Baker to swiftly sign this bill into law. Now more than ever, as President Trump and his anti-choice administration double down on federal rollbacks of our basic rights, Massachusetts must protect Bay Staters and lead the way forward as a beacon of reproductive freedom. Not only will enacting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ensure Bay Staters have the option of choosing to bear healthy children, but this legislation will also signal to states across the country that Massachusetts is in the vanguard of resisting the anti-choice agenda of the Trump administration and their allies in Congress.”
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act clarifies existing law and prevent discrimination based on pregnancy by requiring accommodation by employers to conditions related to pregnancy, including the need to express breast milk. Some accommodations may include: more frequent or longer breaks, seating, light duty, assistance with manual labor, temporary transfers to less hazardous positions, and a private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. By passing this bill, the State Legislature has affirmed Massachusetts’ leadership in building a world where Bay Staters have more access to reproductive health care and more options about whether and when to start a family.