TOP TIP: Posting Requirement for Maryland's Pregnancy Accommodation Law In Effect
September 30, 2013
As of October 1, 2013, Maryland employers are required to post information about the new pregnancy accommodations law in a conspicuous place, along with other legally required notices.
As we discussed in our April E-Update, under the new Maryland pregnancy accommodations law, employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related disabilities absent undue hardship. Under the legislation, once a pregnant employee requests an accommodation, the employer is required to explore with the employee “all possible means of providing reasonable accommodations,” and the law provides a list of possible accommodations, including changing job duties or work hours, relocation, providing mechanical or electrical aids, job transfers, and leave.
The law specifically provides that, “An employer shall post in a conspicuous location and include in any employee handbook, information concerning an employee’s right to reasonable accommodations and leave for a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy.” The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights has issued a guidance to employers generally reiterating the law. The Commission specifically notes that the law does not require the Commission to create a poster, but that it intends to do so as it revises all of its anti-discrimination posters and brochures. At this time, however, no “model” poster has been issued by the Commission.
We have developed a policy/posting to meet the requirements of the new law, and have included language intended to be helpful to employers in receiving and addressing requests for pregnancy accommodations, as follows:
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANCY –RELATED DISABILITIES
In compliance with Maryland state law, the Company is committed to a policy of reasonable accommodations, which may include leave, for a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy. The Company will provide reasonable accommodations necessary to allow a pregnant employee to perform the essential functions of her position, to the extent that any accommodation does not pose an undue hardship for the Company. Whether or not any particular accommodation would be reasonable would depend on the circumstances. In order to make this assessment, the Company may request the employee’s physician to provide medical certifications to support any accommodation.
If you have or develop a need for an accommodation because of your pregnancy to help perform the essential functions of your job, you should submit a request for accommodation in writing to your manager or the Human Resources Manager. Your request will be evaluated and an effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations.