Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 5, 2014

W.Va. House passes pregnant employee law

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia House has passed legislation to ensure pregnant employees receive reasonable accommodations at work.

The Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act allows employees to request an accessible worksite, modified duties, and modified work schedules as long as these accommodations do not place an “undue hardship” on the employer. It also bars employers from denying qualified job applicants because they would be required to make reasonable accommodations.

The House on Wednesday rejected an amendment proposed by Del. Michael Folk to expand the definition of “person” to include the unborn fetus. The bill’s sponsor, Del. Tim Manchin, said the wellbeing of the fetus is already covered in the act and additional terminology would create confusion on who could submit a claim based on the welfare of the child.