EEOC Proposes Regulations For New Federal Pregnancy Law

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Sep 29, 2023

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a new federal law that went into effect on June 27, 2023.  Under the PWFA, employers must make reasonable accommodations to help employees who have physical or mental limitations and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in charge of enforcing the PWFA and creating regulations to implement the law.  The EEOC has issued proposed regulations and asked for public comment.  The proposed regulations include definitions of key terms and examples of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation.

Pregnancy accommodations that the EEOC said would be reasonable and should be granted in almost every circumstance include allowing pregnant employees to have extra time for bathroom, food and drink breaks, drinking water on the job, and allowing them to sit or stand as necessary.  The PWFA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.”  The proposed regulations say this would include conditions related to current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential pregnancy, lactation (including breastfeeding and pumping), use of birth control, menstruation, infertility and fertility treatments, endometriosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, or having or choosing not to have an abortion.

The public may submit comments on the proposed regulations until October 10, 2023.  The proposed regulations are available on the federal regulations website.

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