In June of 2023, the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) went into law. The aims of the PWFA are to require covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant people. These accommodations address conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. A covered employer refers to any private or public sector employer with 15 or more employees.
Federal legislation has lagged behind many state laws, and the PWFA is meant to bring federal law more in line with state laws as well as, to better connect the rights of pregnant employees to other federal legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. According to human resources experts, this will lead to new issues related to making accommodations for workers, such as understanding issues that are covered by the PWFA and what is covered by the ADA.
The EEOC began accepting complaints in June 2023 and the agency has until the end of the year to finalize regulations related to the PWFA. The agency also provides useful information for workers about what the PWFA entails as well as other sources of federal law that provide protections for pregnancy.
Berke-Weiss Law often advises pregnant workers on their rights under federal law as well as New York state and local law. If you are pregnant and are concerned about your treatment at work, we may be able to assist you.