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Kentucky Adopts New Protections for Pregnant Workers

Effective June 27, 2019, Kentucky employers will need to provide additional accommodations to their pregnant workers who have limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.  The “Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act” applies to employers with 15 or more employees within  Kentucky.

These new protections include providing accommodations to pregnant workers who have limitations unless doing so would impose an undue hardship.  Examples of the accommodations employers will be required to provide include: temporary transfer to a less strenuous or a less hazardous position, light duty, modified work schedules, and providing workers with a private space that is not a bathroom for expressing breast milk.

Employers must provide written notice of the right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations, to: new employees at the time of hire — beginning June 27, 2019; and existing employees — by July 27, 2019.  Employers must also post a similar written notice at the workplace, in an area accessible to employees, by June 27, 2019.

This new law generally expands the obligations of Kentucky’s employers to their pregnant workers.  In light of the new law, employers should, in consultation with counsel:

  • Review and update their existing policies applicable to pregnant workers to comply with the new law;
  • Provide the required notices and postings; and
  • Train supervisors and managers on the new law, particularly the obligation to provide accommodations absent an undue hardship.