Starting June 27th employers (with more than 15 employees) had to start providing notice to newly hired employees about the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act. Come July 27th, employers will have to provide notice to all employees about this new Act.
The Act, which became effective June 27, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer to do so. The law specifically identifies providing a private space that is not a bathroom for expressing breast milk as a reasonable accommodation.
So what does this Act mean for business owners? Pregnancy is now a special class of accommodation in Kentucky. Where formerly employees with “disabilities” still had to be “qualified to perform essential job functions” to receive an accommodation, the bar may have been lowered for accommodation under the Act. An employee need only have a “limitation” (not a disability) related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, and may have no burden to show that she will be able to perform essential job functions with the accommodation.
Here’s what we think: in the next decade, there will be a fair amount of litigation over this Act until the courts have clarified their interpretation of its requirements.
Have questions about this Act? Send us an email to our general inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please don’t share any sensitive information to this email address).
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