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Louisiana Expands Pregnancy Accommodation Requirements

Effective August 1, 2021, the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (LEDL) is amended to broaden reasonable accommodation requirements for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer.

The amendments include:

  • Specifying coverage for lactation or the need to express breast milk.
  • Providing examples of reasonable accommodations (e.g., more frequent paid breaks or bathroom breaks; a private place, other than a bathroom stall, for expressing breast milk; suitable seating).
  • Prohibiting employers from:
    • Failing to provide reasonable accommodations, unless an undue hardship exists;
    • Taking adverse action against an employee for requesting or using a reasonable accommodation; and
    • Requiring an employee to accept an accommodation or to take leave.
  • Requiring employers to post and distribute a written notice of rights. Employers must provide existing employees notice of the new requirements by December 1, 2021, and notification to all new employees at the commencement of employment. The notification must be conspicuously posted in an area accessible to employees.

Employers should review their accommodations policies and procedures to ensure compliance with these new changes. It is currently unclear whether the LEDL will provide employers with the required notice for compliance. HR Works will continue to monitor this topic and provide updated information as needed.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.