Virginia has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 712) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of, and requires reasonable accommodations for, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Senate Bill 712 takes effect July 1, 2020.
Senate Bill 712:
Senate Bill 712 prohibits employers with five or more employees from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Covered employers are also required to provide employees with reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless it would pose an undue hardship on the business.
Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- More frequent or longer bathroom breaks;
- Breaks to express breast milk;
- Access to a private location other than a bathroom to express breast milk;
- The acquisition or the modification of equipment or seating;
- A temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
- Assistance with manual labor;
- Job restructuring;
- A modified work schedule;
- Light duty assignments;
- Leave to recover from childbirth.
Employers are prohibited from requiring an employee to take leave if the employer can provide another reasonable accommodation.
Employers must post a notice in a conspicuous location, and include in any employee handbook information about employees' rights to accommodation, and their protection from discrimination under the law by October 29, 2020. The notice must also be provided to all employees at the time of hire as well as within 10 days of the employee informing the employer she is pregnant.
Employers with employees in Virginia must update their policies, forms, practices, and supervisor training to ensure compliance with Senate Bill 712. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.