Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

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02 Nov 2016

Passed by the Colorado legislature, HB 16-1438 “Concerning the Provision of Reasonable Accommodations By An Employer for Persons Who Have a Condition Related to Pregnancy” (“Pregnancy Accommodation Act”), went into effect on August 10, 2016. The Pregnancy Accommodation Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of the job to an applicant for employment or an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or the physical recovery from childbirth, if the applicant or employee requests the reasonable accommodations, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. The Pregnancy Accommodation Act further states that an employer may not take adverse action against an employee requesting such accommodations, nor may the employer deny employment opportunities to an applicant or employee based on the need for such accommodations. These requirements are likely similar to your organization’s standard policies and practices, and are addressed in the standard policy language our firm has drafted for many employers relating to pregnancy; however, we recommend each employer review its pregnancy policies for compliance with this new law.

In addition, the Pregnancy Accommodation Act requires that each new employee receive written notice of these rights upon hire and that all current employees receive such notice by no later than December 7, 2016. Employers also must post this notice at the work site. Accordingly, employers must update their posters to include this new law and prepare the necessary written notice to transmit to each new employee hired after August 10th and to each current employee prior to December 7th.  A copy of the notice is available here.

Michelle B. Fergusonpregnancy-act-notice leads Ireland Stapleton’s Employment Law Practice. She can be reached at 303.628.3658 or mferguson@irelandstapleton.com.

What is written here is intended as general information, and is not to be construed as legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should consult an attorney.