Better protections for pregnant workers goal of new Nebraska law

Nebraska legislators unanimously approved a bill this year that clarifies and solidifies state protections for pregnant workers. Signed into law in April, LB 627 requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for these workers — for example, periodic rest, modified work schedules and workloads, and job restructuring. This “reasonable accommodation standard” is already applied to individuals with disabilities, according to Unicameral Update, the newsletter of the Nebraska Legislature.

Thirteen U.S. states have now passed versions of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the National Women’s Law Center reports. That list of states includes Nebraska, Illinois (HB 8 of 2014) and Minnesota (HF 2536 of 2014) in the Midwest.
Minnesota’s new protections are part of a larger measure, the Women’s Economic Security Act, that also seeks to close gaps in gender pay. Under the law, for example, a private company with 40 or more employees seeking state contracts of $500,000 or more must certify that it is paying equal wages. Legislators also doubled the amount of unpaid parental leave guaranteed for workers in Minnesota, from six weeks to 12.
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