Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently released a guide in both Spanish and English, giving pregnant workers a clear statement of their rights. The guide is based on The Healthy Starts Act, a law that was passed in 2017 to help protect pregnant employees.
“A pregnant employee does not have to choose between her job and her health,” said Ferguson. “The law provides protections for pregnant employees, and it’s important that they know their rights. If employers do not respect these rights, my office will hold them accountable.”
Any pregnant employee who works for an employer with 15 or more employees has the right to the following accommodations:
- More frequent, longer, or more flexible bathroom breaks;
- Adjusting a no food or drink policy;
- Offering seating or allowing pregnant workers to sit more often;
- No lifting over 17 lbs. required.
If there isn’t a significant financial burden on the employer, pregnant employees may also have rights to other workplace accommodations, including:
- Adjusting work schedules, job reassignment, changing a work area, or providing special equipment;
- Provisional transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
Scheduling flexibility for medical appointments.