The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NMSU offers transparency on pregnancy accommodations

Carlos Herrera
An illustration representing pregnancy accommodations for NMSU employees and students.

New Mexico State University provides leave, legal support, and nursing rooms, for pregnant or nursing employees and students. These accommodations create an inclusive environment and a community of care.  

William Nutt, executive director of the Office of Institutional Equity explained in an interview why the accommodations are important.  

“You know, any major transition in life is difficult but it’s particularly difficult having kids and working. And a lot of women are locked out of employment for a number of years,” Nutt said. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became more evident that these accommodations were needed. The inequality in the workplace was put on full display as many women were required to continue working while caring for children who had to stay at home. This wasn’t a surprise to staff in anti-discrimination offices, however. Staff had been aware of and working to solve this problem for years. 

“Those of us in this type of anti-discrimination work had seen [this problem] for years, that there are substantial burdens especially placed on women who are parents in our society,” Nutt said.  

What makes the OIE notable is that it has accommodations for women at any stage of pregnancy. There is a wide range of accommodations available to assist women before, during, and after a pregnancy. 

When describing the range of things covered by the office, Mari Longpre, a staff member of the OIE said, “There are as many accommodations as medical issues.”  

According to Longpre, the office helps people struggling with infertility by giving them time off to see the doctor or get shots. Counseling services and time off to recover from an abortion are also provided. Other services include assistance in getting parking, adjusting work schedules, attaining appropriate uniform sizes, and getting breaks to rest or use the bathroom. 

One of the main services provided is assisting pregnant employees with getting leave. Although parental leave is not yet offered, the OIE will help them acquire pregnancy leave once someone has used up all their sick and paid leave. 

“If someone needed leave for pregnancy, we would absolutely and we have in the past, fully granted it even if they’re a brand-new employee.” Nutt said.  

The office also works interactively with students and employers to adjust their work schedules and accommodate their pregnancy-related needs. This involves sitting down with the employee and their supervisor to find a solution that works for everybody.  

“The way the interactive process works is it’s a back and forth between the university and the employee to find what’s going to work and see if there’s reasonable accommodation available. There almost always is something we can do,” Nutt said. 

Another accommodation provided for employees is nursing rooms. Nursing rooms are private rooms designated for nursing. This prevents employees from having to nurse in a bathroom or be disturbed while nursing. 

“People deserve to be able to [nurse] with dignity and in a safe environment,” Nutt stated. 

There are five nursing rooms located throughout campus. These nursing rooms are private and can be reserved on the phone or unlocked in an app. You can find them in the Devasthali Hall main entrance, Gerald Thomas Room 220, Zuhl Library Room 129, the Business Complex Room 249, and the South Great Hall of Doña Ana Community College. 

The OIE also offers legal support. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, passed in December 2022, requires all employers to give “reasonable accommodations” to a worker with pregnancy-related needs, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This means making sure employees can have bathroom and rest breaks, private places to nurse, and are not required to work in unsafe environments. 

If pregnant employees feel they aren’t being provided with fair accommodation or are being discriminated against, the OIE will work with them to get what they need. 

“I would strongly encourage anyone who’s in that situation to report to us and speak with us,” Nutt said., “You don’t lose anything by talking to our office, and you gain a lot.” 

For more information about NMSU’s pregnancy accommodations, visit or contact the OIE by emailing [email protected] or calling (575)-646-3635. 

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Anne Andrews, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Anne Andrews is starting her first semester with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is currently a freshman at NMSU, majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. She grew up in a military family so she’s lived all over the US and Germany. Ever since she was young, Elizabeth Anne has always been curious about everything around her. It comes from experiencing different cultures and being homeschooled, both opportunities which allowed her to grow in her independence and creativity. In her free time, Elizabeth Anne enjoys writing poems, listening to music, or hanging out with her three siblings and cat.
Carlos Herrera, Multimedia Specialist
Carlos Herrera is entering his second year at The Round Up as a Multimedia Specialist. He is currently a senior in his undergraduate degree in Information Communication Technology. Carlos is looking forward to this year in expanding his love for graphic design and perfecting his photography while capturing "those big Aggie moments". He enjoys being active in everything he does, and also enjoys spending time with those important to him in his downtime.

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