By Julie Ryan
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a federal law that went into effect June 27, 2023. The PWFA requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a qualified worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. “Reasonable accommodations” are changes to the work environment or the way
things are usually done at work.
The House Committee on Education and Labor Report on the PWFA provides several examples of possible reasonable accommodations including 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.
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.
If you have questions about the PWFA, please contact AKC employment law attorney Julie Ryan at [email protected].