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Employment Protections For Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing
State/ProtectionProtection Summary

ALABAMA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

State employees may use accrued sick time for maternity leave as long as they (1) work until actually disabled as a result of their pregnancy, and (2) return to work as soon as they cease to be disabled for that reason.
Ala. Admin. Code 670-X-14-.02.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

ALASKA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on sex, marital status, pregnancy, or parenthood. This applies to all employers except social, fraternal, charitable, educational or religious non-profit organizations.
Alaska Stat. 18.80.220.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Public employers must treat pregnancy-related conditions the same as they treat other types of temporary disabilities.
Alaska Stat. 39.20.500(a).

Public employers with at least twenty-one employees are required to transfer a pregnant employee to a vacant, existing position that is less strenuous or less hazardous, upon the employee's request.
Alaska Stat. 39.20.520.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

AMERICAN SAMOA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Trial Division of the High Court of American Samoa has held that its territorial public policy prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.
Nguyen v. Daewoosa Samoa, Ltd., 7 Am. Samoa 3d 171 (Am. Samoa 2003).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

ARIZONA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Under the Arizona Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on sex. This law applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. Some courts in Arizona have interpreted sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of maternity and pregnancy.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. 41-1463(B); see, e.g., Broomfield v. Lundell, 767 P.2d 697 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1988).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Arizona state employees who are unable to work due to temporary disability caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical care (including miscarriage and abortion), or who are immediate family members of individuals with a temporary disability caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical care, are entitled to the same leave benefits as employees with other temporary disabilities and their family members. Employers may provide paid or unpaid leave for employees who are pregnant or who have a temporary pregnancy-related disability; they are not required to do so, however, as long as all employees are treated the same with respect to their requests for temporary disability leave.
Ariz. Admin. Code Rule 2-5A-B602, B603.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

ARKANSAS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Arkansas prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, which is explicitly defined to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law applies to all employers with nine or more employees, except religious organizations.
Ark. Code 16-123-102, 107.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

State employers must treat maternity leave the same as leave for any sickness or disability, except that an employee requesting maternity leave may choose to take leave without pay rather than exhaust accrued paid leave.
Ark. Code 21-4-209.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer must provide reasonable daily unpaid break time to an employee who needs to express breast milk, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer's business. The employer must make a reasonable effort to provide employees with a private, safe and clean space close to their work area, other than a toilet stall, to express breast milk.
Ark. Code 11-5-116.

CALIFORNIA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which is explicitly defined to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions. This law applies to employers with five or more employees, except religious non-profit organizations.
Cal. Gov't Code 12926, 12940.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Women temporarily disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition are entitled to unpaid leave for as long as they remain disabled, up to four months. During that period, the employer must continue to provide the employee with the same level of health insurance coverage she received prior to taking leave. This law applies to employers with five or more employees, regardless of the worker's tenure or number of hours worked.
Cal. Gov't Code 12945(1)-(2).

Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations for employees who have work-related limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition. This may include temporary transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position, if an employee so requests upon the advice of her health care provider. If the employer has a policy or practice of transferring temporarily disabled employees to less strenuous positions for the duration of their disability, the employer must do the same for its pregnant employees.
Cal. Gov't Code 12945(3).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers cannot discriminate against women for breastfeeding or breastfeeding-related medical conditions.
Cal. Gov't Code 12926, 12940.

An employer must provide reasonable unpaid break time to a woman to express breast milk, unless doing so would seriously disrupt the employer's business. If possible, the break time must occur during the employee's ordinary break time. The employer must make a reasonable effort to provide the mother with a private space close to her work area, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
Cal. Labor Code 1030-1033.

COLORADO

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Colorado Antidiscrimination Act states that it is illegal to discriminate based on sex. The Colorado Supreme Court has interpreted this to include discrimination based on maternity and pregnancy. This law applies to all employers regardless of size, except for religious organizations that are not taxpayer-funded.
Colo. Rev. Stat. 24-34-402; Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n v. Travelers Ins. Co., 759 P.2d 1358 (Colo. 1988).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Disabilities caused by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion and childbirth are considered temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes. Employers must treat pregnancy-related disabilities the same as other temporary disabilities with respect to such matters as leave duration, leave extensions, job reinstatement and health insurance coverage.
3 Colo. Code Regs. 708-1:80.

It is an unfair employment practice for an employer to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation for an applicant or employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth, absent a showing of undue hardship on the business. Employers must engage in an interactive process to assess potential reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Colo. Rev. Stat. 24-34-402.3.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer must provide a nursing employee reasonable daily unpaid break time, or allow her to use paid break or meal time, or both, to express breast milk for up to two years after childbirth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a private space close to her work area, other than a toilet stall, to express milk. This requirement applies to all employers.
Colo. Rev. Stat. 8-13.5-101-104.

CONNECTICUT

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Connecticut's Fair Employment Practices Law prohibits employers from terminating a woman's employment because of her pregnancy. This law applies to employers with three or more employees, as well as to unions and employment agencies.
Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-60(b)(7)(A).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must grant employees a reasonable leave of absence for disability resulting from pregnancy, and must provide compensation for such leave if the employee is so entitled under the employer's disability or leave benefits plans. Employers must reinstate women returning from pregnancy leave to their original job or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits and other service credits, upon receiving a written statement of the employee's intent to return. Private employers are exempt from this requirement if they can show that circumstances have so changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to do so. Employers must make reasonable accommodation for an employee or person seeking employment due to her pregnancy, unless the employer can demonstrate that such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on such employer. Employers are also not allowed to force an employee or person to accept a reasonable accommodation if the person does not have a known limitation or does not require a reasonable accommodation. Employers cannot require an employee to take a leave of absence if a reasonable accommodation can be provided in lieu of such leave. Employers cannot retaliate against an employee based upon an employee's request for reasonable accommodation.
Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-60(b)(7)(A)-(K).

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employee has the right to express milk or breastfeed during her meal or break time. It is illegal to discriminate against or discipline an employee for exercising this right. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a private space close to their work area, other than a toilet stall or bathroom, to express breast milk, unless doing so would impose significant difficulty or expense on the employer.
Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-40w.

DELAWARE

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Delaware law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, including breastfeeding. It also prohibits discrimination on the basis of a reproductive health decision. These prohibitions apply to all employers with four or more employees within Delaware.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, 710-11.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees who have work-related limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, 710-11.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against women on the basis of pregnancy-related conditions, including breastfeeding, and are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees who have pregnancy-related limitations. Such reasonable accommodations may include the provision of break time and appropriate facilities for expressing breast milk.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, 710-11.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The District of Columbia Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which explicitly includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions. This law applies to all employers regardless of size, except employers of domestic workers.
D.C. Code 2-1401.05(a), 1401.11.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions, and employees affected by reproductive health decisions, must be treated the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, for all employment purposes.
D.C. Code 2-1401.05(b).

Employers must provide reasonable workplace accommodations for employees whose ability to perform the functions of a position are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions unless the employer can make a showing of undue hardship on its business.
D.C. Code 32-1231.03.

An employer may not take action against or deny employment opportunities to an employee or prospective employee based on a request or need for an accommodation due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions.
D.C. Code 32-1231.03.

An employer must provide written notice of an employee's right to a needed reasonable accommodation related to pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding to new employees and an employee who notifies the employer of her pregnancy or related condition within 10 days of notification.
D.C. Code § 32-1231.04.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against women on the basis of breastfeeding and pregnancy-related medical conditions.
D.C. Code 2-1401.05(a).

An employer must provide reasonable daily unpaid break periods for an employee to express breast milk. If the employer already provides a paid or unpaid break period to the employee, such time shall run concurrently with the required break period. An employer may be exempted from this requirement if it shows compliance would create an undue hardship. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a sanitary, private space close to her work location where she can express milk.
D.C. Code 2-1402.82(d).

FLORIDA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This law applies to employers with fifteen or more employees.
Fla. Stat. 760.10.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Only state employees are protected from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy under Georgia law.
Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 478-1-.03.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Under Georgia law, employers are allowed, but not required, to provide break time and/or a location for mothers to express breast milk.
Ga. Code 34-1-6.

GUAM

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Guam prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Guam Department of Labor has issued regulations interpreting this to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Guam Code Ann. tit. 22, 5201; 17 Guam Admin. R. & Regs. 6104(o).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Under Georgia law, employers are allowed, but not required, to provide break time and/or a location for mothers to express breast milk.
Ga. Code 34-1-6.

HAWAII

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Hawaii's Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers.
Haw. Rev. Stat. 378-1, 378-2; Haw. Code R. 12-46-107.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other individuals who may have a temporary limitation or inability to work.
Haw. Rev. Stat. 378-1.

An employer may not terminate or otherwise penalize a woman because she requires time away from work for disability stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for women affected by a disability stemming from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The law applies to all employers.
Haw. Code R. 12-46-107.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer may not fire, refuse to hire, withhold pay from, demote, or penalize an employee for breastfeeding or expressing milk at the workplace.
Haw. Rev. Stat. 378-2(7).

An employer must provide: (1) reasonable break time for a nursing mother to express breast milk for one year after the birth of her child and (2) a private space, other than a bathroom, for an employee to express milk, for one year after the birth of her child. Employers with less than twenty employees are exempt from these requirements if they can show that compliance would impose significant difficulty or expense on their business.
Haw. Rev. Stat. 378-92.

IDAHO

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Although not specifically addressed in Idaho's Human Rights Act, the Idaho Supreme Court has construed the Act's statutory prohibition on sex discrimination to prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to all public employers, all state contractors, and all other employers with five or more employees, except employers of domestic workers.
Idaho Code 67-5909; Stout v. Key Training Corp., 144 Idaho 195, 158 P.3d 971 (2007).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

State employers must treat pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions as temporary disabilities, including with respect to use of sick leave.
Idaho Admin. Code 15.04.01.243.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

ILLINOIS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to all public employers as well as to private employers with fifteen or more employees, state contractors and joint apprenticeship or training committees.
775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-102(I); Ill. Adm. Code tit. 56, 5210.110.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who have work-related limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Additionally, employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, including with respect to leave requests. This applies to those employers listed above.
775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-102(I)-(J); Ill Adm. Code tit. 56 § 2535.100.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer must provide reasonable daily unpaid break time for an employee to express breast milk, unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's business. If possible, such break time must run concurrently with the employee's ordinary break time.
820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 260/10.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a private space close to their work area, other than a toilet stall, where they can express milk.
820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 820 260/15.

INDIANA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

All employers with twenty-five or more employees must, to the extent reasonably possible, provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express milk during any time away from the employee's assigned duties. Such employers must also, to the extent reasonably possible, provide a cold storage space for employees to keep expressed milk, or allow employees to provide their own portable refrigerator for such a purpose.
Ind. Code 22-2-14-2.

Public employees receive supplemental protections. Public employers must provide reasonable daily paid break time, to run concurrently with any other break time, for employees to express breast milk, unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's operations. Public employers must also make reasonable efforts to provide a private room near an employee's work area, other than a toilet stall, where she can express milk.
Ind. Code 5-10-6-2.

IOWA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Iowa Civil Rights Act has a number of provisions related to pregnancy and childbirth; these apply to employers of four or more individuals, except employers of domestic workers. Employers are prohibited from having written or unwritten policies that exclude applicants or employees from employment because they are pregnant. An employer cannot terminate an employee due to a pregnancy-related disability.
Iowa Code 216.6(2).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Disabilities stemming from an employee's pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, legal abortion, or recovery from any of these conditions, are to be treated the same as other temporary disabilities for insurance and leave-related purposes. If a pregnant employee is not entitled to sufficient leave under the relevant insurance or sick leave plan, the employer must, upon timely request, grant an unpaid leave of absence for either the period that the employee is disabled because of the employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, or for eight weeks, whichever is shorter.
Iowa Code 216.6(2).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

KANSAS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Kansas Human Rights Commission has interpreted the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination to prohibit pregnancy discrimination. This law applies to all employers with four or more employees, except non-profit fraternal and social organizations.
Kan. Stat. Ann. 44-1009; Kan. Admin. Regs. 21-32-6.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers with four or more employees must treat disabilities stemming from pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth and recovery therefrom the same as any other temporary disability for all job-related purposes. Employers must accept childbearing as a justification for taking an unpaid leave of absence for a reasonable period of time. Upon returning from such leave, employees must be reinstated to their original jobs or to positions of like status and pay without loss of service credits, seniority or other benefits.
Kan. Admin. Regs. 21-32-6.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

KENTUCKY

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which specifically includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers with eight or more employees, except bona fide non-profit private clubs.
Ky. Rev. Stat. 344.030, 344.040.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other individuals with similar ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes.
Ky. Rev. Stat. 344.030.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

LOUISIANA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Louisiana law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. The law applies to all employers with twenty-five or more employees within Louisiana.
La. Rev. Stat. 23:342.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must provide female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same benefits or privileges of employment that are granted to temporarily disabled employees, including leave benefits and transfers to less strenuous or hazardous positions. An employer must grant a request for a temporary job transfer so long as it can be reasonably accommodated. Employers must also allow employees to take pregnancy-related leave for as long as they are disabled on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, up to four months. This applies to all employers with twenty-five or more employees within Louisiana.
La. Rev. Stat. 23:341-342.

Workplace breast feeding rights

The only state-specific law applies to employees of public schools. Louisiana school boards are required to provide nursing employees with a private room to express breast milk, and a reasonable amount of break time to do so, for up to one year after the birth of the child. If possible, the break time must occur during the employee's ordinary break time; any additional leave will be unpaid.
La. Rev. Stat. 17:81(W).

MAINE

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and related medical conditions. This applies to all employers.
Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5, 4572, 4572-A.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women who are unable to work because of a disability or illness resulting from pregnancy or related medical conditions the same as other employees who are not able to work because of other disabilities or illnesses, including with respect to leave benefits. This applies to all employers.
Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5, 4572-A.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers may not discriminate against employees who choose to express breast milk in the workplace. Employers must provide adequate unpaid break time, or allow an employee to use her paid break time, to express breast milk for up to three years following childbirth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a clean, private place, other than a bathroom, for an employee to express breast milk. This applies to all employers.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, 604.

MARYLAND

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Courts have construed Maryland's prohibition on sex discrimination in employment to bar discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to employers with more than fifteen employees, except bona fide tax-exempt private membership clubs.
Md. Code, State Gov't 20 606; see, e.g., Makovi v. Sherwin-Williams Co., 316 Md. 603, 626, 561 A.2d 179, 189 (1989); Cuffee v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 755 F. Supp. 2d 672, 675 (D. Md. 2010).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Maryland law requires disabilities stemming from pregnancy or childbirth to be treated as temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes, including with respect to insurance and leave plans. All policies and practices that govern other temporary disabilities must be applied to pregnancy and childbirth-related disabilities.
Employers must explore possible reasonable accommodations for an employee's pregnancy or childbirth-related disability. If an employee requests a transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position as a reasonable accommodation, the employer is required to provide the transfer for a period of time up to the duration of the employee's pregnancy if (1) such transfers are provided to employees with other temporary disabilities, or (2) the employee's health care provider advises the transfer and the placement would not have one of the four statutorily-provided effects. This applies to employers with more than fifteen employees, except bona fide tax-exempt private membership clubs.
Md. Code, State Gov't 20 609.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

MASSACHUSETTS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Massachusetts law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has interpreted this prohibition to bar discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This provision applies to employers with six or more employees, except certain social and fraternal organizations.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, 4; Massachusetts Elec. Co. v. Massachusetts Comm'n Against Discrimination, 375 Mass. 160 (1978).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has construed the general prohibition on pregnancy discrimination discussed above to require the same benefits be given to employees with pregnancy-related disabilities as to those with other temporary disabilities. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has issued regulations that explicitly adopt this construction, and also mandate that disability due to pregnancy or childbirth be treated the same as other temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, 4; 804 Mass. Code Regs. 8.01; Massachusetts Elec. Co. v. Massachusetts Comm'n Against Discrimination, 375 Mass. 160 (1978).

A female employee who has completed the initial probationary period set by her employer or, if none, three consecutive months of full-time employment, is entitled to up to eight weeks of paid or unpaid maternity leave after giving birth or adopting a child. Upon giving two weeks' notice of her intent to return, such a female employee must be restored to her previous status, with limited exceptions due to an employer's changed circumstances. An employee who takes maternity leave is not entitled to accrue benefits while on leave unless the employer provides such benefits to all employees on temporary leave. This requirement applies to the same employers as the nondiscrimination requirement above.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 105D.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

MICHIGAN

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition (except non-therapeutic abortion not intended to save the mother's life). This law applies to all employers.
Mich. Comp. L. 37.2202.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition must be treated in the same manner as employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.
Mich. Comp. L. 37.2202.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

MINNESOTA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which explicitly includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth. This applies to all employers.
Minn. Stat. 363A.03(42); Minn. Stat. 363A.08.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers are required to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related disabilities the same as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, including with respect to the provision of reasonable accommodations. Employers with more than twenty-one employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.
Minn. Stat. 363A.08.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer must provide a reasonable amount of daily unpaid break time to employees to express breast milk, unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's business. The break time must, if possible, run concurrent to break time already provided to employees. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a private space, other than a bathroom, close to the employee's work area and with access to an electrical outlet, to express breast milk. This applies to all employers.
Minn. Stat. 181.939.

MISSISSIPPI

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

There is no Mississippi law that prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy by private employers. However, state employers are prohibited from terminating any employee because of pregnancy or requiring such employee to take leave.
27-110 Miss. Code R. 7.3.9.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

As with discrimination generally, there is no law governing private employers. State employers, though, must treat women disabled by pregnancy the same as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs.
27-110 Miss. Code R. § 7.3.9.

Workplace breast feeding rights

An employer may not forbid an employee from breastfeeding or pumping during her break.
Miss. Code Ann. 71-1-55.

MISSOURI

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sex. Some courts have held this includes a prohibition on pregnancy discrimination. In its implementing regulations, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has interpreted this statute to prohibit any policy or practice which excludes from employment applicants or employees because of pregnancy, barring a showing of business necessity. This applies to employers with six or more employees within Missouri, except businesses owned and operated by religious groups are exempt.
Mo. Rev. Stat. 213.055; Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 8, 60-3.040(16); see, e.g., Self v. Midwest Orthopedics Foot & Ankle, P.C., 272 S.W.3d 364 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008); Midstate Oil Co., Inc. v. Missouri Comm'n on Human Rights, 679 S.W.2d 842, 846 (Mo. 1984).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat disabilities stemming from pregnancy, miscarriage, legal abortion, childbirth and recovery as temporary disabilities, and must treat them the same as any other temporary disability for all job-related purposes.
Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 8, 60-3.040(16)(A).

An employer cannot terminate a temporarily disabled employee due to an inadequate leave policy if such policy has a disproportionate impact on employees of one sex and is not justified by business necessity.
Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 8, 60-3.040(16)(B).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

MONTANA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Montana employers cannot terminate a woman's employment due to her pregnancy, refuse to grant her a reasonable leave of absence for the pregnancy, deny her disability or leave benefits, or require her to take leave for an unreasonable length of time. This applies to all employers.
Mont. Code Ann. 49-2-310.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

An employee is entitled to a reasonable leave of absence for pregnancy. In determining the reasonableness of the length of leave, the employer must apply standards at least as inclusive as those it applies to other medical-related temporary leave requests.
Mont. Code Ann. 49-2-310; Mont. Admin. R. 24.9.1203.

Employers must treat disabilities stemming from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as other temporary disabilities, including with respect to insurance and leave plans.
Mont. Admin. R. 24.9.1206.

Upon returning from maternity leave, an employee must be restored to her original or equivalent position, barring a change in the employer's circumstances.
Mont. Code Ann. 49-2-311.

Workplace breast feeding rights

It is illegal for any public employer in Montana to discriminate against an employee who expresses breast milk in the workplace. Every public employer must have written policies that encourage and accommodate breastfeeding and ensure employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing milk. Public employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a space close to the employee's work area, other than a toilet stall, to express breast milk. Additionally, public employers must provide reasonable unpaid break time to employees who need to express breast milk, unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's operations.
Mont. Code Ann. 39-2-215 through 217.

NEBRASKA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Nebraska prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law applies to employers with fifteen or more employees, except bona fide private membership clubs.
Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1102, 1104, 1107.01-02.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers with fifteen or more employees must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical limitations of an individual who is pregnant, has experienced childbirth, or has a related medical condition. Such accommodations may include break time or appropriate facilities for breast feeding or expressing breast milk. Employers are exempt from this requirement if it can be shown the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the business' operations.
Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1102(11), 1102(18).

State employers must treat pregnancy as a temporary disability for leave purposes.
273 Neb. Admin. Code 10-005, 011.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

NEVADA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

If an employer grants leave with or without pay, or leave without the loss of seniority to employees for sickness or disability because of medical condition, it is unlawful for the employer to fail or refuse to extend the same benefits to any pregnant employee. The pregnant employee must be permitted to use the leave before or after childbirth, miscarriage, or other natural resolution of her pregnancy.
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 613.335.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers that provide leave with or without pay, or leave without loss of seniority, to employees for sickness or disability stemming from a medical condition must provide the same benefits to pregnant employees or employees who have a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical condition. Employer may not take adverse actions against an employee who requests a reasonable accommodation relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition; deny any employment opportunity to a qualified employee based on a need for a reasonable accommodation for a condition of the employee relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition; or require an employee who is affected by a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition to accept an accommodation or to take leave from employment if an accommodation is available.
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 613.335.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy and medical conditions resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. This applies to employers with six or more employees, other than social clubs and non-profit religious and fraternal organizations.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 354-A:7.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must allow female employees to take a leave of absence for the period of temporary physical disability resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Upon return, such employees must be restored to their original or a comparable position, unless business necessity makes this impossible. For all other purposes, including benefits plans, employers must treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions the same as other employees affected by any other temporary disability.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 354-A:7.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

NEW JERSEY

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to all employers other than religious organizations.
N.J. Stat. Ann. 10:5-12.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for women who are pregnant or who suffer from medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth.
N.J. Stat. Ann. 10:5-3.1.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act requires employers to allow employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twenty-four month period for, among other things, the birth or adoption of a child. This leave may commence at any time within a year after the date of the birth or placement for adoption. Employers may exclude certain employees from this benefit if they are among the highest five percent, or seven highest (whichever is greater), of the employer's paid salaried employees. This law applies to all public employers and to private employers with fifty or more employees.
N.J. Stat. Ann. 34:11B-4.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

NEW MEXICO

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The New Mexico Human Rights Act explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The New Mexico Human Rights Commission has issued regulations that interpret this prohibition to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to employers with four or more employees.
N.M. Stat. Ann. 28-1-7; N.M. Code R. 9.1.1.7(HH)(2).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as other employees who are temporarily disabled for other reasons.
N.M. Code R. 9.1.1.7(HH)(2).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a clean and private space near the employee's workspace, other than a bathroom, to use a breast pump. They are also required to provide such employees with flexible break times.
N.M. Stat. Ann. 28-20-2.

NEW YORK

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of "familial status," which includes discrimination against any person who is pregnant. In addition, New York courts have construed the prohibition on sex discrimination in the Human Rights Law to prohibit pregnancy discrimination. The law applies to all employers with four or more employees.
N.Y. Exec. L. 292, 296; Elaine W. v. Joint Diseases N. Gen. Hosp., Inc., 81 N.Y.2d 211 (1993); Mittl v. N.Y. State Div. of Human Rights, 100 N.Y.2d 326 (2003).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Under case law applying the Human Rights Law, New York courts have held that employers are required to provide the same benefits and accommodations to employees affected by pregnancy, child birth, or related conditions as they provide in other instances of temporary disability.
Brooklyn Union Gas Co. v. N.Y. State Human Rights Appeal Bd., 41 N.Y.2d 84, 359 N.E.2d 393 (1976).

Employers with four or more employees must make reasonable accommodations for the pregnancy related conditions of employees and prospective employees unless it can be demonstrated that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer's operations.
N.Y. Exec. L. 292(21-e) and (21-f), 296(3).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who express breast milk in the workplace. They must also provide reasonable unpaid break time, or allow employees to use paid break or meal time, for employees to express breast milk for their nursing children, for up to three years following the child's birth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or location within close proximity of the employee's work station so the employee can express milk in privacy. Each break shall generally be no less than 20 minutes. If the break room is not in close proximity to the employee's work station, each break shall generally be no less than 30 minutes. The number of breaks needed will depend upon the amount of time the employee is separated from her nursing infant and the mother's physical needs.
N.Y. Labor Law 206-c; New York Department of Labor, Guidelines Regarding the Rights of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk in the Work Place (2016).

NORTH CAROLINA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

NORTH DAKOTA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The North Dakota Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which is defined to include pregnancy, childbirth, and disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth. This applies to all employers who employ at least one person in North Dakota for more than one quarter of each year.
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. 14-02.4-02, 14-02.4-03.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

An employer must make reasonable accommodations for an otherwise qualified individual because that individual is pregnant. An employer is not required to provide an accommodation that would disrupt or interfere with the employer's normal business operations, threaten an individual's health or safety, contradict a business necessity of the employer, or impose an undue hardship on the employer.
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. 14-02.4-03.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

OHIO

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Ohio prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which explicitly includes pregnancy, any illness arising out of and occurring during the course of a pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law applies to all employers with four or more employees within Ohio.
Ohio Rev. Code 4112.01, 4112.02.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs.
Ohio Rev. Code 4112.01.

If an employer has no leave policy, an employer must allow a reasonable period of leave for childbearing. Following leave, an employee is entitled to return to the same or a similar position. This applies to public employers and to private employers with four or more employees within Ohio.
Ohio Admin. Code 4112-5-05.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

OKLAHOMA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Oklahoma prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers except employers of domestic workers.
Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1301, 1302.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as other employees with temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes.
Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1301; Okla. Admin. Code 335:15-3-9.

If an employer's termination of an employee with a temporary disability is due to an inadequate leave policy, the termination will be unlawful if the policy has a disproportionate impact on employees of one sex and is not justified by business necessity.
Okla. Admin. Code 335:15-3-9.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

OREGON

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Oregon law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions or occurrences. This law applies to all employers.
Or. Rev. Stat. 659A.029, 659A.030.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions or occurrences the same as other employees with a similar ability or inability to work due to a physical condition, for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs.
Or. Rev. Stat. 659A.029.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Upon receiving reasonable notice, employers are required to provide reasonable unpaid rest periods for female employees to express milk. Unless otherwise agreed upon, these breaks must be thirty minutes long during each four-hour shift, and taken somewhere in the middle of the shift. If feasible, the employee is to use her otherwise provided meal or rest breaks for these purposes. Employers are not required to do so if it would impose an undue hardship on their business operations. Employers must also make reasonable efforts to provide a private location near the employee's work area, other than a restroom, for her to express milk. These requirements only apply to employers with twenty-five or more employees in Oregon, and for employees breastfeeding their children eighteen months old or younger.
Or. Rev. Stat. 653.077.

PENNSYLVANIA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Human Relations Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission has interpreted this provision to prohibit employers from having written or unwritten policies or practices that exclude women from employment due to pregnancy, absent a showing such an exclusion is warranted. The Human Relations Act applies to employers with four or more employees in Pennsylvania.
43 Pa. Stat. 955; 16 Pa. Code 41.102.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission has interpreted the Human Relations Act's prohibition on sex discrimination to require that employers apply all policies and practices, including leave and benefit policies, equally to those employees who have a disability due to pregnancy or childbirth as to those with other disabilities. Employers may not require employees to take leave due to pregnancy or childbirth.
43 Pa. Stat. 955; 16 Pa. Code 41.103.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

PUERTO RICO

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Puerto Rico prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It also explicitly prohibits employers from excluding applicants or employees from employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers.
P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 29, 1322-1324.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat disabilities caused by or attributed to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as all other disabilities for all employment-related purposes.
P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 29, 1322-1324.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Upon returning from maternity leave, women must be given the opportunity either to breastfeed their children at an on-site child care center or to express milk for an hour each full-time working day, which can be divided into two thirty-minute sessions or three twenty-minute sessions. This applies to all employers except small businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration, who only need to provide one half-hour break per day, which can be divided into two fifteen-minute sessions. This applies to employees with nursing children up to one year of age.
P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 29, 478 et seq.

RHODE ISLAND

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Rhode Island law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers with four or more employees.
R.I. Gen. Laws 28-5-6, 28-5-7.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all employment related purposes, including benefits and leave policies.
R.I. Gen. Laws 28-5-6.

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees and prospective employees regarding conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship. Employers may not deny employment opportunities to employees and prospective employees based upon the employer's refusal to reasonably accommodate individuals' conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
R.I. Gen. Laws 28-5-7.4(a)(1) and (a)(3).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees and prospective employees regarding conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, which include the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship. Such accommodations include, but are not limited to, providing break time for expressing breast milk.
R.I. Gen. Laws 28-5-7.4.

Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide a private, secure and sanitary place close to an employee's work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express milk or breastfeed. This applies to all employers.
R.I. Gen. Laws 23-13.2-1.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

South Carolina prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, defined to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law applies to all employers with fifteen or more employees, except bona fide private membership clubs.
S.C. Code Ann. 1-13-80; S.C. Code Ann. 1-13-30.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes, including benefits and leave policies.
S.C. Code Ann. 1-13-30.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat pregnancy and childbirth the same as they treat temporary disabilities, except in the context of insurance. This applies to all employers.
S.D. Admin. R. 20:03:09:12.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

TENNESSEE

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. Although the statute does not explicitly define sex to include pregnancy, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has repeatedly interpreted the Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. The Tennessee Human Rights Act applies to all employers with eight or more employees in Tennessee, except for domestic employers.
Tenn. Code Ann. 4-21-101, 4-21-401; see, e.g., Spann v. Abraham, 36 S.W.3d 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999); Castro v. TX Direct, LLC, W2012-01494-COA-R3CV, 2013 WL 684785 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2013); Pierce v. City of Humboldt, W2012-00217-COA-R3CV, 2013 WL 1190823 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2013).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

If an employee has worked for the same employer full-time for at least twelve consecutive months, he or she may take four months leave for adoption, pregnancy, childbirth, or nursing an infant. Such leave shall not affect the employee's accrued seniority, leave, or benefits, although the employer is not required to pay for such benefits during the leave period. Generally, if three months' notice was given prior to the start of leave, the employer will be required to restore the employee, upon return, to his or her original position or to a similar position.
Tenn. Code Ann. 4-21-408.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers are required to provide reasonable daily unpaid break time to employees who need to express breast milk for their infant children unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's business. If possible, this break shall run concurrently with any other break time already provided. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a private space close to their work area, other than a toilet stall, to express breast milk. This law applies to all employers.
Tenn. Code Ann. 50-1-305.

TEXAS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Texas prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which explicitly includes pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This applies to private employers with fifteen or more employees, as well as to all public employers.
Tex. Lab. Code Ann. 21.051, 21.106.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers with fifteen or more employees are required to treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all purposes related to employment, including in leave and benefit policies.
Tex. Lab. Code Ann 21.106.

Municipal and county employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate employees who are partially physically restricted by pregnancy; this may include making a temporary work assignment within the employee's office.
Tex. Loc. Gov't Code 180.004.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

UTAH

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Utah Antidiscrimination Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions. This law applies to all employers except religious businesses and organizations.
Utah Code 34A-5-106.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers with fifteen or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to employees related to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related conditions if a reasonable accommodation is requested, unless the employer can demonstrate the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer. Employers may not deny employment opportunities to an employee if the denial is based on the need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations related to the pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions of an employee, unless the employer can establish that such an accommodation would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.
Utah Code 34A-5-106(1)(g).

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers with fifteen or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to employees related to breastfeeding if a reasonable accommodation is requested, unless the employer can demonstrate the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.
Utah Code 34A-5-106(1)(g).

Public employers must provide for at least one year after the birth of a public employee's child reasonable breaks for the employee to breast feed or express milk and must provide for a public employee a clean, sanitary, and private room or other location in close proximity to the public employee's work area that is not a bathroom or a toilet stall unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.
Utah Code 34-49-202.

A public employer must provide access to a clean and well-maintained refrigerator or freezer for the temporary storage of the public employee's breast milk.
Utah Code 34-49-202.

A public employer may not refuse to hire, promote, discharge, demote, terminate, retaliate against, harass, or discriminate against a person because the person breastfeeds or expresses milk in the workplace.
Utah Code 34-49-204.

VERMONT

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sex. The Supreme Court of Vermont has held that this includes discrimination based on pregnancy. This law applies to all employers.
Vt. Stat. tit. 21, 495; Lavalley v. E.B. & A.C. Whiting Co., 166 Vt. 205, 692 A.2d 367 (1997).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers are required to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during an employee's pregnancy and/or following the birth of an employee's child. Upon return from leave, the employee must be restored to the same or a comparable position.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, 472.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers must provide nursing employees provide reasonable compensated or uncompensated time throughout the day for nursing mothers to express breast milk, as well as a private space other than a bathroom in which to do so, for up to three years after the birth of the child, unless doing so would constitute a substantial disruption to the employer's business. Employers cannot discriminate against employees who exercise this right.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, 305.

VIRGIN ISLANDS

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has held that this includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to public employers and to employers of twelve or more persons, except private clubs.
W. Va. Code 5-11-9; Frank's Shoe Store v. W. Virginia Human Rights Comm'n, 179 W. Va. 53, 365 S.E.2d 251 (1986).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other employees not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all purposes, including benefits and leave.
24 V.I. Code 451.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

VIRGINIA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Virginia law prohibits employers with more than five but fewer than fifteen employees from terminating an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation.
Va. Code 2.2-3903.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Employers must treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as persons not so affected but similar in their abilities or disabilities for all purposes.
Va. Code 2.2-3901.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Employers with more than five but fewer than fifteen employees may not terminate a female employee on the basis of lactation.
Va. Code 2.2-3903.

WASHINGTON

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court of Washington and the Washington Human Rights Commission have held that this includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth. This applies to employers with eight or more employees, but it does not apply to religious non-profit organizations. There is also a "business necessity" exception under the regulations.
Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.030; Wash. Admin. Code 162-30-020; Hegwine v. Longview Fibre Co., Inc., 162 Wash. 2d 340, 344, 172 P.3d 688, 691 (2007).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

"Employers with at least eight employees must grant female employees a leave of absence for the period of time that they are sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy or childbirth. Employers must treat a woman on pregnancy-related leave the same as other employees on leave due to illness or other temporary disability.
Wash. Admin. Code 162-30-020.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

WEST VIRGINIA

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has held that this includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to public employers and to employers of twelve or more persons, except private clubs.
W. Va. Code 5-11-9; Frank's Shoe Store v. W. Virginia Human Rights Comm'n, 179 W. Va. 53, 365 S.E.2d 251 (1986).

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

The Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition of a job applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. It also prohibits employers from imposing mandatory leave or requiring applicants or employees to accept a pregnancy-related accommodation. This applies to public employers and to private employers of twelve or more persons, except private clubs.
W. Va. Code 5-11B-2.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

WISCONSIN

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Wisconsin law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave or related medical conditions. This applies to all employers except social clubs and fraternal organizations.
Wis. Gen. Stat. §§ 111.31, 111.36.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

WYOMING

Protection against pregnancy discrimination

Wyoming law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This applies to all public employers and to all other employers, except religious organizations, with two or more employees.
Wyo. Stat. 27-9-105.

Provisions for pregnancy accommodation

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

Workplace breast feeding rights

Only federal protections apply. See federal law summary.

UNITED STATES (Federal)

The major federal laws that afford workplace protections and employment rights for workers who are pregnant or nursing are:

1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964)
What is covered? Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

Who is covered? Title VII's protections cover employees who work for an employer having at least fifteen employees, including state and local governments. Title VII also applies to employment agencies, training programs and labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

For additional information see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978)
What is covered? The PDA amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitute sex discrimination under Title VII. Women who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy-related conditions must be treated in the same manner in all terms and conditions of employment as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.

Who is covered? The PDA covers the same employers and employees as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Terms and Conditions of Employment: This law prohibits an employer from refusing to hire a woman because of a pregnancy-related condition as long as she is able to perform the major functions of her job. It also prohibits an employer from treating an applicant or worker differently on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, for any employment purpose.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave: An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee's ability to work. However, if an employer requires all of its employees to submit a doctor's statement concerning their inability to work before granting leave or paying sick benefits, the employer may require employees affected by pregnancy-related conditions to submit such statements.

If an employee is temporarily unable to perform her job because of her pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, the employer must treat her the same as any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, if the employer allows temporarily disabled employees to modify tasks, perform alternative assignments, or take disability leave or leave without pay, the employer also must allow an employee who is temporarily disabled because of pregnancy to do the same.

Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs. If an employee has been absent from work as a result of a pregnancy-related condition and recovers, her employer may not require her to remain on leave until the baby's birth. An employer also may not have a rule that prohibits an employee from returning to work for a predetermined length of time after childbirth.
Employers must hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence the same length of time they would hold jobs open for employees on sick or disability leave.

Health Insurance: Any health insurance provided by an employer must cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as costs for other medical conditions. An employer need not provide health insurance for expenses arising from abortion, except where the life of the mother is endangered by the pregnancy or where medical complications have arisen from an abortion.

Pregnancy-related expenses should be reimbursed exactly as those incurred for other medical conditions, whether payment is on a fixed basis or a percentage of reasonable-and-customary-charge basis.

The amounts payable by the insurance provider can be limited only to the same extent as amounts payable for other conditions. No additional, increased or larger deductible can be imposed.

Fringe Benefits: If an employer provides any benefits to workers on leave, the employer must provide the same benefits to those on leave for pregnancy-related conditions.

Employees on leave because of pregnancy-related conditions must be treated the same as other temporarily disabled employees with respect to accrual and crediting of seniority, vacation calculation, pay increases and temporary disability benefits.

For additional information see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC recently issued new enforcement guidance regarding pregnancy discrimination and related issues. In particular, the guidance addresses the PDA as it applies to pregnant workers. See: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_guidance.cfm.

3. The Nursing Mothers Break Time Provision of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), 2010

What is covered? This law requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Employers are not required to compensate employees for such time. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

Who is covered?
The Affordable Care Act amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), creating a nursing mothers break time provision for employees who are not exempt from section 7, which includes the FLSA's overtime pay requirements. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the nursing mothers break time requirement if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship.

Note:

Federal law requires that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions be treated the same as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs. See 42 U.S.C. 2000e (k). Also, this page only addresses state laws; county, city or other local laws may provide additional sources of protection.

Effective 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) (FLSA) to require that employers provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk for one year after the birth of her child. The law does not require that this time be compensated. The amendment also requires that employers provide a place, other than a bathroom, for an employee to express breast milk. Note that certain workers who are exempt from Section 7 of the FLSA are not covered by this amendment. Also note that the amendment does not preempt state laws that provide employees with broader protections (for example, compensated break time, break time for exempt employees, or break time beyond one year after the child's birth). For more about the FLSA's break time requirement, see http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/.

Forty-six states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, also allow women to breast feed in public places or in places of "public accommodation," even if those jurisdictions do not require employers to make accommodations for breastfeeding employees. We have not included those laws here.