The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is now in effect, as of June 27, 2023. It applies to most employers with 15 or more employees. It requires employers to grant reasonable accommodations to employees with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
EEOC has provided details on what is required:
Covered employers cannot:
- Require an employee to accept an accommodation without a discussion about the accommodation between the worker and the employer;
- Deny a job or other employment opportunities to a qualified employee or applicant based on the person's need for a reasonable accommodation;
- Require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided that would let the employee keep working;
- Retaliate against an individual for reporting or opposing unlawful discrimination under the PWFA or participating in a PWFA proceeding (such as an investigation); or
- Interfere with any individual’s rights under the PWFA.
They provide examples of what may constitute reasonable accommodations:
EEOC states: "Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless they would cause an “undue hardship” on the employer’s operations. An “undue hardship” is significant difficulty or expense for the employer." This is the same as the standard for reasonable accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- the ability to sit or drink water;
- receive closer parking;
- have flexible hours;
- receive appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel;
- receive additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest;
- take leave or time off to recover from childbirth; and
- be excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy.