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On May 17th, governor Martin O’Malley signed into Maryland law the requirement that employers with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees beyond those presently required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy discrimination Act (PDA).
Under the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act (effective October 1, 2013), absent under-due hardship, employers will be required to discuss all “possible requests of reasonable accommodation” with pregnant employees who request reasonable accommodation including:
- Changing the employee’s job duties;
- Changing the employee’s work hours;
- relocating the employee’s work area;
- providing mechanical or electrical aids;
- transferring the employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position,
- or providing leave.
Under the new requirement, employers will have to post a notice in a conspicuous location (suggestion – same places all other such workplace notices and posters are hung) and revise employee handbooks to include a section explaining a pregnant employee’s right to a reasonable accommodation under the new law.
– Andria Lure Ryan
Although the new law will not take effect until October 1st, employers should plan for the new requirements by reviewing their policies, practices and employee handbooks now.
If you need assistance ensuring compliance, feel free to give us a call at 301-298-5543. We will be more than happy to assist you.