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MA is latest of 19 states to pass laws protecting pregnant and nursing mothers

Dive Brief:

  • Nineteen states now have laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers, Engineering News-Record (ENR) reports.
  • The Massachusetts House passed a bill on May 10 requiring employers to provide nursing mothers with a private, non-bathroom area. The bill also requires employers to provide mothers with reasonable accommodations, such as a lighter workload, unless the employer would face undue hardship. The state’s Senate is expected to approve the bill.
  • According to ENR, the states’ laws extend protections for pregnant and nursing mothers beyond federal law, and most of them — 13 out of the 19 — were passed within the last four years.

Dive Insight:

Legal protection for pregnant women and nursing mothers is yet another area of employment law in which states have taken their own measures. That growing list includes paid family leave, “ban the box” and pay equity laws.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers in traditionally male-dominated jobs, such as construction or architecture, might require private areas to take care of maternal issues, like pumping breast milk. They will almost certainly need to be given less strenuous tasks and assignments in addition to more frequent breaks.

Kathleen Dobson, safety director at Alberici Constructors, told ENR that some employers don’t understand the federal rules; employers might not even know that pregnant workers are considered disabled under the law and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations. Wal-Mart employees recently sued the company for denying pregnant workers the same reasonable accommodations as other disabled workers.

With 13 out of 19 states passing laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers within a relatively short time, more states will likely follow. Employers must monitor possible changes in their own state’s laws, which often are more extensive than federal law.

Source: HR Dive

HR Strategies Attended St. Jude Reception

Last night, representatives from HR Strategies attended the St. Jude Atlanta Reception at Atlantic Station. As one of the Top 10 Contributing Teams at last November’s St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk at Zoo Atlanta; HR Strategies was invited to learn more about what St. Jude Research Hospital is doing in the field of medicine.

June is National Safety Month

Last year we reported on how OSHA is “Turning up the Heat” on heat related illness. We provided the link to a press release regarding their campaign. With the dog days of summer around the corner, that press release reminded employers with outside workplaces about OSHA’s focus on the hazards of working in high heat.  The press release reinvigorated OSHA’s heat-related illness campaign that began leading into summer 2011, when OSHA produced a great deal of public information about heat-related illness, including a dedicated heat illness information page on OSHA’s website, a YouTube video, public press statements, speeches by senior Department of Labor and OSHA officials, and even a Heat Safety Smartphone App.

osha campaign heat 2013

Click here to see OSHA’s page about heat related illness.

Relay For Life is Next Week!

Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.

Moliere

ribbon click here

Click the Ribbon to Securely Donate Online to Relay For Life! Once on the page, click the orange “Donate Now” button. Then click the next orange “Donate to this Team” button! We appreciate your help in reaching our goal. Every little bit gets us closer to finding a cure!

It’s Walk to Work Day

walk to workAccording to About.com, National Walk to Work Day is held the first Friday of April in the USA, beginning in 2004. The day is promoted by Prevention magazine and endorsed by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The following are snippets from the article:

How to Participate:

You are encouraged to walk for all or part of your commute to work. Aim for a minimum 15 minute walk each way. If you take public transportation, try walking to a further stop before boarding, or getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the distance to work. If your commute is too long, make it a Walk to Lunch Day. Invite your co-workers to join with you for Walk to Work Day, or join you in a Walk to Lunch.

The Goal – Add Healthy Steps to Your Day:

Walking for 30-60 minutes a day greatly reduces your risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. By finding a way to make walking part of each day, you are giving yourself proven health benefits far beyond any promised by herbs, vitamins, or prescription drugs.

Walking for 30 minutes a day as part of your work commute or lunch puts you into the “Moderate Physical Activity” category and greatly lowers your health risks.

Dressing for Walking:

Your walking shoes should be comfortable for walking for 15-30 minutes at a stretch. If your work shoes don’t work for walking, wear athletic shoes and carry along your work shoes to change into. For April, dress for the weather with a jacket (water-resistant, with hood in rainy climates). Carry your necessary papers, purse, etc. in a small backpack.

Use a Pedometer and Stop Weight Gain: 

A pedometer can motivate you to log more steps each day. Experts say if we all added 2000 more steps to our day, we wouldn’t gain another pound.

To read the full article, click here.

As we’ve mentioned before, HR Strategies’ internal employees are wearing pedometers for the HumanaVitality health and wellness program! How can you help your office become a healthier place?

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