1.09 Fairness to Pregnant Workers

Policy No. 1.09

Under the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Berklee employees have the right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy or a condition related to the employee’s pregnancy including, but not limited to, lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. The right to be free from such discrimination includes the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy.

Berklee shall provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy or any condition related to the employee’s pregnancy (which includes, but is not limited to, lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child) to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job, unless the requested accommodation would impose an undue hardship to Berklee. A reasonable accommodation may include, among other things (1) more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks; (2) time off to attend to a pregnancy complication or recover from childbirth, with or without pay; (3) acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; (4) temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position; (5) job restructuring; (6) light duty; (7) private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk; (8) assistance with manual labor; or (9) a modified work schedule.

Interactive Process

Employees seeking pregnancy-related accommodations should make a request to their Human Resources business partner. After the employee has requested an accommodation, the institution and the employee will engage in an interactive process to determine the feasibility of the requested accommodation. During the interactive process, Berklee may require documentation about the need for a reasonable accommodation from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional, unless the employee has requested more frequent restroom, food, or water breaks; seating; limits on lifting over 20 pounds; or a private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. Berklee may also require documentation when an employee seeks an extension of the accommodation beyond the originally extended accommodation.

In determining whether an accommodation constitutes an undue hardship, Berklee will consider the nature and cost of the needed accommodation; the overall financial resources of the institution; the overall size of the business of the institution with respect to the number of employees and the number, type, and location of its facilities; and the effect on expenses and resources, or any other impact of the accommodation on Berklee’s program, enterprise, or business.

Berklee will not:

  • take an adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation;
  • deny an employment opportunity to an employee because of the institution’s need to provide the employee a reasonable accommodation based on a known condition related to the employee’s pregnancy;
  • require an employee to accept an accommodation the employee chooses not to accept where the accommodation is not necessary to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job;
  • demand that an employee take a leave of absence if another reasonable accommodation would suffice and would not pose an undue hardship to Berklee; or
  • refuse to hire a person who is pregnant because of the person’s pregnancy or condition related to pregnancy where the person can perform the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation that would not impose an undue hardship to Berklee.

 

December 2018