Rep. Terry McMillan
SANTA FE ― The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that will protect pregnant women in the workplace and exceed federal guidelines.
Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Doña Ana, of Las Cruces is the sponsor. The bill (HB 409) passed by a bipartisan 63-3 vote.
“This legislation balances the need to protect pregnant women in the workplace as well as the economic needs of our local small businesses,” McMillan said. “Today, the House took a huge step forward to protect women in the workplace.”
The legislation requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, such as more flexibility with their schedules, shorter hours or leave time. All businesses with 20 or less employees are exempt from the program. This exceeds the federal requirement, which is 50 employees.
The legislation mirrors language from the Federal American with Disabilities Act. It ensures that a woman’s job is protected while she is pregnant, while at the same time allowing her to look after her health.