Washington--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

Washington--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

WASHINGTON

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Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination

It is an unfair practice for any employer to discriminate based on sex. Claims of employment discrimination because of pregnancy are analyzed as matters of sex discrimination and are not subject to a disability accommodation analysis.

For the text of the statute, click here.[1] For more information, click here.[2]

Pregnancy Accommodation

Washington does not provide additional protections to the federal law.

Pregnancy-related Disability Accommodation

Claims of employment discrimination because of pregnancy are analyzed as matters of sex discrimination and are not subject to a disability accommodation analysis. For the text of the statute, click here.[3] For more information, click here.[4]

Breastfeeding Rights

Employers with approved breastfeeding policies may use the designation of "infant-friendly" on their promotional materials.

For the text of the statute, click here.[5]

A mother has a right to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodations, assemblage or amusement. It is unclear whether this authorization extends to a woman’s place of employment.

For the text of the statute, click here.[6]

Family and Childcare Leave Laws

An employer must provide a woman an unpaid leave of absence for the period of time that she is sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy or childbirth. Employers must treat a woman on pregnancy related leave the same as other employees on leave for sickness or other temporary disabilities. Employers that allow no leave for sickness or disability may not refuse reasonable leave to a woman who is pregnant, unless the policy is justified by a business necessity.

For the text of the statute, click here.[7]

Family leave is job-protected and does not result in a loss of benefits.

*Applies to individuals who have worked 12 or more months for an employer who employs at least 25 people.

For the text of the statute, click here.[8]

Public and private sector employees entitled to sick leave or time off may use it to care for a child or a family member with a serious health condition. A domestic partner is considered a family member.

For the text of the statute, click here.[9]

Workers who meet FMLA eligibility requirements are eligible for up to six months of leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

For the text of the statute, click here.[10]

Pending Legislation

Washington state enacted a paid parental leave program that will go into effect in 2015.The program will provide eligible workers up to five weeks per year of paid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. Leave taken under the family leave insurance program will run concurrently with any leave taken under the federal FMLA or the state family and medical leave act. Eligible state workers will have job-protected leave.

For the text of the statute, click here.[11]

For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.

For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.

For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.

Copyright 2013 Legal Momentum



[1] Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 49.60.180

[2] Hegwine v. Longview Fibre Co., Inc., 162 Wash. 2d 340, 348, 172 P.3d 688, 693

[3] Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 49.60.180

[4] Hegwine v. Longview Fibre Co., Inc., 162 Wash. 2d 340, 348, 172 P.3d 688, 693

[7] WAC 162-30-020 (4)(a-b)

[8] Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 49.86.030

[9] Wash. Rev. Code § 49.12.270

[10] Wash. Admin. Code §§ 357-31-460, 357-31-465; 357-31-475

[11] 259 Wash. Rev. Code §§ 49.86.010, 49.86.030; 49.86.050; 260 Wash. Rev. Code § 49.86.090

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