NEW Pregnancy Antidiscrimination Law for Virginia Employers

In accordance with the Senate Bill 712 which amended the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA), covered employers are now required to provide reasonable accommodation for known limitations to an employee related pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless it creates an undue hardship to the employer.  This law is effective July 1, 2020, and specifically applies to employers who employ five or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.  Reasonable accommodations are:

  • more frequent or longer bathroom breaks;
  • breaks to express breast milk;
  • access to a private location other than a bathroom for the expression of breast milk;
  • acquisition or modification of equipment or access to or modification of employee seating;
  • a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
  • assistance with manual labor, or job restructuring;
  • a modified work schedule;
  • light duty assignments;
  • and leave to recover from childbirth.

Undue hardships on the employer to be considered are:

  • conducting business, considering the nature of operation, including composition and structure of the workforce;
  • facility size and where employment occurs;
  • nature and cost of the accommodation(s) needed.