Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


In 2017, the Legislature passed a new law providing specific civil rights protections for pregnant employees. If a pregnant employee works for an employer with 15 employees or more, she has the right to the following accommodations:

  1. Providing frequent, longer, or flexible restroom breaks;
  2. Modifying a no food or drink policy;
  3. Providing seating or allowing the employee to sit more frequently; and
  4. Limiting lifting to 17 pounds or less.

 In addition, a pregnant employee may have rights to other workplace accommodation(s), as long as there is no significant difficulty or expense to the employer. These are:

  1. Job restructuring, including modifying a work schedule, job reassignment, changing a work station, or providing equipment;
  2. Providing a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
  3. Scheduling flexibility for prenatal visits;
  4. Providing any further accommodations the employee may need.

Employers may not ask for written certification from a healthcare professional for the accommodations in 1–4 above. Employers may request written certification from a health care professional regarding the need for the accommodations in 5–8 above, or for restrictions on lifting less than 17 pounds.

The Civil Rights Unit accepts complaints that an employer has failed to accommodate an employee’s pregnancy. You may contact us at pregnancy@atg.wa.gov or by leaving a message on our toll-free line at (833) 389-2427. You may also submit a complaint using our online form and a staff member will follow up with you.