New State Law Protecting Pregnant Employee

April 6, 2018
Lorraine A. Goffe, Vice President for Human Resources, 2015–2018 |

Dear MIT faculty and staff,

I am writing to alert you to a new Massachusetts law effective April 1, 2018 called the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This law:

  • Provides employees the right under state law to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy, or a condition related to the employee’s pregnancy such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, and
  • Requires employers to provide pregnant and nursing employees with reasonable accommodations.

More detail on the requirements for accommodations and examples of accommodations can be found on this state website.

MIT’s policies have long protected employees from discrimination based on sex, and we have interpreted this to include discrimination based on pregnancy. We are now amending MIT’s policies to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and related conditions. Also, MIT has made accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees, and we will continue to do so.  While we do not anticipate any major impact on MIT practices, we are required to inform you of this new law.

Employees seeking pregnancy-related accommodations should contact MIT’s Disability Services and Medical Leaves Office at Any questions about this new law may be directed to your Human Resources Officer.

Lorraine A. Goffe
Vice President for Human Resources