617.482.8200

Our Firm

Conn Kavanaugh is a Boston law firm that represents individuals and organizations ranging from closely held and family businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Since our founding in 1988, clients have relied on us for practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, both in and out of the courthouse.

Leadership

Conn Kavanaugh attorneys hold leadership positions in many community and bar organizations, publish articles and speak at continuing legal education seminars. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts appointed one of our founding partners to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO), the official body that investigates and evaluates complaints against lawyers. Several other firm attorneys are hearing officers for the BBO.

Pro Bono Services

Our attorneys provide pro bono legal services in collaboration with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Legal Food Hub, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, the Women's Bar Foundation, the Victim Rights Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Health Law Advocates and Discovering Justice.

Awards

  • 2015: Conn Kavanaugh has received a First Tier ranking in Boston for Employment Litigation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for 2015.
  • 2015: Four Conn Kavanaugh attorneys were listed in The Best Lawyers in America © 2015.
  • 2014: The publishers of Boston Magazine selected 16 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 100 New England Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, Top 50 New England Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2014: The American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Section honored one of our partners with the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award. 
  • 2013: Law & Politics selected 12 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2013: The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) honored one of our partners with the Defense Lawyer of the Year award.

Why Choose Conn Kavanaugh

Boston is home to dozens of excellent law firms. Why should you turn to Conn Kavanaugh for assistance with your legal needs?

Accessibility

Conn Kavanaugh offers a level of accessibility and responsive, attentive service that larger firms cannot match. Maintaining close contact and open communication with clients really matters here. We believe in listening to clients and advising them in specific terms to solve their legal challenges. And we aim to develop an ongoing relationship of trust and confidence with clients, becoming part of their team.

Specialized Expertise

We deliver many of the benefits you might associate with a larger firm — for example, breadth and depth of expertise. Each of our attorneys focuses on a select number of practice areas. Collectively, they give our firm the highly specialized expertise necessary to address wide-ranging client needs.

Transactional Experience

Our business attorneys have decades of experience negotiating deals for acquiring and selling companies through mergers, consolidations and asset and stock transactions. We are strong advocates and skilled negotiators. In addition, we bring considerable value to our clients in getting deals done efficiently and effectively while never losing sight of the importance of identifying and managing risk.

Litigation Experience

The Conn Kavanaugh team includes seasoned former prosecutors and a strong, deep bench of attorneys with civil and criminal trial experience, which equips us to solve complex litigation cases for clients. Some of our attorneys are fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the nation's premier professional trial organization.

Cost-efficiency

One reason so many of our clients choose us is that we staff our cases leanly and charge reasonable fees. In addition, we provide practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, within budgetary constraints.

Please call us today at 617.482.8200 to learn more about what sets Conn Kavanaugh apart.

Search our Attorneys

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z View All

    Business Litigation

    Our Business Litigation practice group offers the experience of seasoned lawyers who recognize the value of solving problems to promote your business success.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'Connell
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Complex Tort Defense

    Since its founding in 1988, a staple of Conn Kavanaugh’s practice has been the defense of business entities in serious and complex personal injury or property damage actions.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Construction

    Whether you are the owner, design professional, general contractor, project administrator, subcontractor, or supplier on a construction project, our Construction practice will assist you in achieving a successful project outcome.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Corporate / Transactional

    Our Corporate/Transactional practice has a broad range of skills. This versatility allows them to remain a principal point of contact with our business clients and to move freely across multiple disciplines to ensure continuity of representation.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'Connell
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Criminal / White Collar / Regulatory

    We have extensive experience advising businesses and individuals who are the subject of criminal or regulatory investigations or proceedings.

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    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Employment Litigation / Counseling

    Employers and employees alike look to Conn Kavanaugh’s employment lawyers for advice in navigating the increasingly complex web of state and federal statutes,

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault

    Estate Planning / Administration

    Our Estate Planning attorneys help individuals and their families plan for the future and protect their assets. We handle all aspects of estate planning.

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    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Family Law / Probate Litigation

    Our experienced Family Law/Probate Litigation attorneys work zealously to ensure rightful asset distributions in these emotionally charged proceedings. Our group handles a wide range of areas including prenuptial agreements, custody disputes, and post-divorce support or estate modifications.

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    Steven O. Anderson-Garrison
    Steven Anderson-Garrison
    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Laurel K.  Spallone
    Laurel K. Spallone
    Jared D. Spinelli
    Jared Spinelli
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young
    Lindsay  Zelek-Thompson
    Lindsay Zelek-Thompson

    Land Use / Real Estate Litigation

    Our Land Use/Real Estate Litigation practice has extensive experience in handling real estate disputes of all kinds and at all levels. We can develop a strategy for your dispute.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Mediation / Arbitration

    Having litigated hundreds of cases, the Mediation/Arbitration practice is well-equipped to effectively value cases to resolve disputes according to your needs and goals.

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    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin

    Product Liability

    Conn Kavanaugh’s lawyers regularly represent manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in defending against product liability claims.

    Read More...

    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi

    Professional Liability

    Our trial attorneys are accomplished in defending claims against attorneys, health care professionals, insurance agents and brokers, and other professionals.

    Read More...

    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Real Estate

    Our Real Estate practice provides skilled representation in a variety of transactions, including the financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial properties.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Architects/Engineers

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience advising and representing architects and engineers in many aspects of their businesses.

    Read More...

    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate

    Closely Held/Family Businesses

    Conn Kavanaugh’s business attorneys have a broad range of skills and are very experienced in providing legal services to family-owned and other closely-held businesses.

    Read More...

    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner

    Construction

    Conn Kavanaugh has provided an array of services to private and public clients in the construction industry, including the manufacturers of building materials and systems.

    Read More...

    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Financial Services

    Conn Kavanaugh draws upon a wide range of disciplines to meet the needs of individual and institutional clients in the financial services industry.

    Read More...

    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Food and Beverage

    Our decades of work in the food and beverage industry, including alcohol regulatory and distribution, have permitted us to gain expertise and insight into the typically fast paced and challenging world of our clients engaged in the food and beverage industry.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony BovaAssociate
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.Partner
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'ConnellPartner
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'TooleAssociate

    Government

    Conn Kavanaugh provides an array of services to clients in the public sector, including state agencies, municipalities, and public officials.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner

    Healthcare

    The Conn Kavanaugh team has the skills and experience necessary to successfully maneuver our clients through the increasingly complex and highly regulated environment of the health care industry.

    Read More...

    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Insurance

    Our lawyers work with our insurance industry clients in a variety of ways. We represent their insureds in virtually every type of lawsuit for which insurance coverage is available. We represent insurance companies directly in bad faith actions, and in high-exposure losses or losses that present unusual or challenging coverage issues.

    Read More...

    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVitaAssociate
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian KilloyAssociate
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis TheriaultAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Law Firms

    Since the firm was founded in 1988, our attorneys have been known as “lawyers’ lawyers.”

    Read More...

    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Manufacturing

    Conn Kavanaugh has broad experience in representing the interests and needs of various manufacturers.

    Read More...

    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner

    Real Estate

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience in the real estate field.

    Read More...

    George M. Ford
    George FordOf-Counsel
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Staffing and Recruiting

    Staffing companies and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are playing an increasingly important role in many aspects of human resource management, as employers are relying more and more on staffing companies and PEOs for payroll and employee benefit administration, risk management, and other increasingly complex administrative burdens.

    Read More...

    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner

    NEWS

    March 20, 2018

    Pregnant Workers Fairness Act — Our Analysis

    By Mary 'Beth' O'Neal

    The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”), signed into law by Governor Baker last July, goes into effect on April 1, 2018. The PWFA supplements Massachusetts employment discrimination laws, applicable to employers with six or more employees, by adding pregnant employees and employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions (including breastfeeding) as a protected class with the right to be free from discrimination in the workplace and the right to reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, if such accommodations do not cause an undue hardship on the employer. 

    Massachusetts employers will be required to accommodate all pregnant workers just as they are required to accommodate employees with disabilities. However, federal law, relative to the accommodation of employees with disabilities, is distinguishable. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), a normal pregnancy is not considered to be a disability. As a result, only where a pregnant employee has a disability (such as complications related to pregnancy) must an employer accommodate the employee’s disability under federal law. Clearly, the PWFA expands an employer’s reasonable accommodation obligations in that it applies to all pregnant employees, not just those pregnant employees who have disabilities.
     
    Duty to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

    The PWFA addresses the employer’s obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation; what constitutes a reasonable accommodation; and the context for analyzing whether an accommodation is reasonable or not under the test of whether it would constitute an “undue burden.”

    Under the PWFA, a “reasonable accommodation” enables an employee (or prospective employee) to perform essential job functions while pregnant (or while experiencing a condition related to pregnancy). In general, determining the appropriate reasonable accommodation is achieved through an interactive dialogue between the employer and the employee requesting the accommodation (which is the same concept required under the ADA law dealing with employees (or applicants) with disabilities). The interactive dialogue requirement contemplates that an employer will engage in a collaborative,
    good-faith process with employees and prospective employees to determine effective and reasonable accommodations. The PWFA specifically identifies several reasonable accommodations that may be provided by the employer to the covered employee including:

    • More frequent or longer breaks and/or a modified work schedule
    • Changes to seating/work equipment
    • Temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, and/or assistance with manual labor
    • Time off to attend to a pregnancy complication or recover from childbirth
    • Private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk

    The PWFA requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations unless the employer is able to demonstrate an undue hardship on the employer’s business. Undue hardship may be demonstrated where an employer proves that the requested accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense, taking into consideration relevant factors including the size and resources of the employer; the nature and cost of the accommodation; and the effect on expenses and resources or any other impact of the accommodation on the employer’s business.

    The PWFA does permit an employer to require written documentation from a health care professional demonstrating the need for most accommodations; however, employers cannot require documentation of the need for more frequent breaks, changes to seating, limits on lifting more than twenty pounds, or providing a private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk.

    Prohibited Actions

    The PWFA prohibits several practices by an employer. An employer may not:

    • Take an adverse action against a pregnant employee or an employee with a pregnancy-related condition who has requested a reasonable accommodation;
    • Deny an employment opportunity to a pregnant employee or an employee with a pregnancy-related condition based on the need to make a reasonable accommodation;
    • Require a pregnant employee or an employee with a pregnancy-related condition to take a leave of absence if another reasonable accommodation may be provided without undue hardship;
    • Require a pregnant employee or an employee with a pregnancy-related condition to accept an accommodation that is not necessary for the employee to perform the essential functions of the job;
    • Refuse to hire a person because that person is pregnant or has a pregnancy-related condition,
      if the person is capable of performing the essential functions of the job with a reasonable accommodation, unless the accommodation would pose an undue hardship.

    Written Notice to Employees


    Similar to other Massachusetts laws (including the Sick Leave Law and the Domestic Violence Leave law) the PWFA requires employers to ensure that its employees have written 
    notice of their rights under the PWFA. The notice may be provided in a handbook or pamphlet or other means of notice to all employees. Employers must provide written notice of the rights afforded by the PWFA to all current employees prior to its April 1, 2018 effective date. After the effective date, employers must provide written notice to all new hires prior to their start dates and then again to any employee if that employee provides notice to the employer of pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy within 10 days of such notification by the employee, even if the employee had previously received written notice of their rights.

    Conn Kavanaugh has prepared a draft notice for employers, available here. However, employers should tailor their written notice to their own businesses.

    Employee Remedies for Employer’s Violation of PWFA

    Employees will have all of the remedies provided under the Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws to challenge and seek redress for an employer’s violation of the Act. This includes filing a charge of discrimination with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) and filing suit against an employer. The MCAD has issued guidance and a Q&A document which provides additional clarification on the employer’s responsibilities under the Act, which is available here.

    How to Comply

    Employers should update their antidiscrimination policies and provide supervisors and managerial staff with training regarding employees’ rights under the PWFA. They should also take affirmative steps to evaluate the types of accommodations employees most likely will request under the PWFA and carefully consider how to implement those accommodations and whether they may pose an undue burden. Employers also should assess the essential functions of various positions, and whether (and how) an accommodation might permit an employee affected by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition to fulfill those functions. Employers will want to make sure that employees have access to private non-bathroom spaces for nursing or expressing breast milk, which the PWFA considers to be a reasonable accommodation (and which is already required under federal law).