Bills would require employers to make accommodations for breast-feeding and/or pregnant women

Bills introduced in the 2021 regular session would require employers to make accommodations for breast-feeding and/or pregnant women. Federal law already addresses making those accommodations.

SB100 by Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, would require all employers to make reasonable efforts to provide breastfeeding employees with a time and place to express milk in private. Under the bill, the unpaid break time each day must be in “a room or other location with access to an electrical outlet in close proximity to the work area, other than toilet stall.” Federal law requires employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk and provide a place for the employee to express breast milk. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the federal break time requirement if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship.

HB352 by Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham, would create the Alabama Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. It would apply to employers of 15 or more. Rafferty’s bill would make it unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations for any condition of a job applicant or employee related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, including the need to express breast milk. It specifically forbids taking adverse action against, denying employment for applicants and requiring an employee to take leave related to conditions related to pregnancy. Under the bill, reasonable accommodation includes: (1) More frequent or longer breaks. (2) Acquisition or modification of equipment. (3) Seating. (4) Temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position. (5) Job restructuring. (6) Light duty. (7) Break time and private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. (8) Time off to recover from childbirth. (9) Assistance with manual labor. (10) Modified work schedules. The bill also has requires a poster at the work site. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but has not been scheduled for consideration.

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