A new law currently effective in Washington requires employers to provide greater employment protections for pregnant employees than existing law.


Effective July 23, 2017, Washington employers with 15 or more employees are now prohibited from:

 

  • Failing to make reasonable accommodations for an employee for pregnancy;
  • Taking adverse action against an employee who requests, declines, or uses an accommodation under the law;
  • Denying employment opportunities to an otherwise qualified employee if such denial is based on the employer's need to make reasonable accommodations required by the law; or
  • Requiring an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided for the employee's pregnancy.

The new law is part of a bill passed that primarily focuses on improving children’s health.  The law provides more defined protections to pregnant employees than provided previously by Washington Disability Law or the Federal ADA.  Washington employers should make necessary changes to practices and policies to ensure compliance.