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Minnesota expands pregnancy & lactation accommodation laws

09/02/21

Author: ADP Admin/Tuesday, August 31, 2021/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Minnesota

Minnesota has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 9) that will expand a requirement to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy. Senate Bill 9 takes effect January 1, 2022.

Background:

Currently, Minnesota requires employers with 21 or more employees at any one site to provide reasonable accommodations for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth if the employee requests an accommodation with the advice of her health care provider or certified doula, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the business. Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
  • Seating;
  • Frequent restroom breaks; and
  • Limits to heavy lifting.

Pregnant employees may not be required to obtain the advice of their health care provider or doula, and an employer cannot claim undue hardship, for the following accommodations:

  • More frequent restroom, food, and water breaks;
  • Seating; and
  • Limits on lifting over 20 pounds.

Existing Minnesota state law also requires that employers provide nursing mothers with reasonable unpaid break time to express milk and a private a room or other location for milk expression, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, with access to an electrical outlet and in close proximity to the worksite.

 

Senate Bill 9:

Under Senate Bill 9, beginning January 1, 2022, employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the reasonable accommodation requirements described above.

Senate Bill 9 also amends the state’s lactation accommodation law by prohibiting employers from reducing an employee’s pay for the time used for the purpose expressing milk. This means that lactation breaks must be paid beginning January 1, 2022.

 

Compliance Recommendations:

Minnesota employers should review policies and practices to ensure that they comply with the changes made by Senate Bill 9. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.

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