On June 27th, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) went into effect for companies with 15 or more employees. The PWFA requires reasonable accommodations for limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship. An “undue hardship” is significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Closer parking;
- Flexible hours;
- Appropriately-sized uniforms;
- Additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest;
- To be excused from strenuous activities or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy.
The employer is required to have a discussion about the accommodation with the employee prior to requiring the employee to accept such accommodation. Employers cannot require a pregnant employee to take leave if an accommodation can be made. In addition, an employer cannot deny a job opportunity to a qualified applicant based on the person’s need for a reasonable accommodation.
The EEOC has issued a new poster “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” to account for the changes under the PWFA. Employers will need to update their required poster which can be found at: https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/2023-06/22-088_EEOC_KnowYourRights6.12.pdf
How can Meyer, Unkovic & Scott help you?
If you are an employer who has questions about reasonable accommodations, undue hardship, or any part of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, please contact Elaina Smiley at [email protected] or 412.456.2821, any member of our Employment Law Group, or any other Meyer, Unkovic & Scott attorney with whom you have worked.