Employee rights to pregnancy accommodations
Governor Hickenlooper just signed a law entitled Concerning The Provision of Reasonable Accomodations By An Employer For Persons Who Have a Condition Related to Pregnancy. The new law requires employers to engage in a timely, good-faith, interactive process when an employee or applicant requests reasonable accommodations related to health conditions from pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth. This law does not create blanket protection for pregnant women. It is related to health complications. Reasonable accommodations may include the provision of more frequent or longer break periods; more frequent bathroom, food, or water breaks; acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; limitations on lifting; temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position or light duty, if available; assistance with manual labor; or modified work schedules, as long as certain conditions are met.
The law includes numerous protections for employers. Employers may request a physician’s note. Employers need not create a new position to accommodate a request, or hire extra personnel as a result of an accommodation request.
The law applies to any Colorado employer. It becomes effective August 10, 2016. The law requires employers to give written notice to their employees of their rights under the law within 120 days after the law becomes effective. We at Stutheit & Gartland, P.C. are developing a model notice form for our clients to use.