Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Business in Compliance

 In Blog, Business, News

As of April 15, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) made their final ruling for the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA will require an employer to provide pregnant workers, or those who have conditions related to pregnancy, reasonable accommodations.

What does this mean and what steps should you take to stay compliant?

Let’s look at some of the key reasonable accommodations that are mentioned in the PWFA.

  • Carrying or keeping water near and drinking as needed.
  • Allowing additional restroom breaks as needed.
  • Allowing sitting for those whose work requires standing, and standing for those whose work requires sitting as needed.
  • Allowing breaks to eat and drink as needed.

These accommodations are to protect the pregnant worker, but it is also important to keep in mind that these accommodations should be met without causing the business “undue hardship”.

Accommodations can be written or orally presented to the employer by the employee. Requesting documentation from an employee is limited, as an employer you can request simple documentation confirming that the employees’ condition falls under the Broad Coverage of Conditions. These accommodations are to be met as soon as possible. Unnecessary delay can be seen as a violation to the PWFA under the final rule.

What are some of the key conditions under “Broad Coverage of Conditions”?

  • Pregnancy – Pregnancy conditions can be physical or mental.
  • Infertility, fertility treatment and the use of contraception.
  • Childbirth- vaginally, cesarean and conditions around this related to physical or mental.
  • Pregnancy-related limitations “a need or a problem related to maintaining a pregnant employee’s health or the health of the pregnancy.” (regulation of secondhand smoking for example)
  • Breastfeeding and pumping, low milk supply, plugged ducts.
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, having or choosing not to have an abortion.

It is important to keep in mind that the list above is simplified, that there are other conditions when it comes to reproductive health that have not been mentioned.

The PWFA will take effect as of June 18th, 2024. For questions or concerns on how to stay compliant, please reach out to the Anthros team. To learn more about the PWFA final ruling here.

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