July 18, 2019

Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act: Notice Deadline is July 26

Kentucky statutes have been updated. The Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act (KPWA) amends KRS 344.030 and 344.040 of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to clarify protections for pregnant workers already afforded under federal statute and case law. Cities with fifteen (15) employees in twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the current or prior calendar year are subject to the KPWA as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under state and federal law, employers cannot treat an employee differently due to pregnancy in any employment action. The laws also make it clear pregnancy is not a disability. However, if an employee has a medical condition or disability related to pregnancy, reasonable accommodations must be made consistent with accommodations provided to other employees with similar disabilities if it does not create an undue hardship for the employer. The KPWA lists some examples of reasonable accommodations already required by case law, including not requiring a pregnant worker to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be made. Get more information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

New Notice Requirements:

The KPWA now requires employers with fifteen (15) or more employees in twenty (20) or more calendar weeks to provide notice in two ways.

First, cities subject to the KPWA must post a conspicuous written notice of the protections by June 27, 2019. The Kentucky Human Rights Commission has updated the Equal Opportunity Poster to comply with this new notice requirement. The new poster can be found here.

Second, cities subject to the KPWA must “provide written notice of the right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations” within thirty (30) days of the act’s effective date and for all new employees going forward. KLC is recommending cities update their personnel policies and have all employees sign acknowledgment forms by July 26, 2019. For sample policy language or for other questions, please contact KLC’s Personnel Services Team.