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EEOC Issues Final Regulation on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

15 Apr

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Update Applicable to:Effective Date
All PFWA-covered employersSee Details Below


What happened?

On April 15, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its final rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on April 19. 


What are the details? 

  • The PWFA requires most employers with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations,” or changes at work, for a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship.
  • Providing important clarity that will allow pregnant workers the ability to work and maintain a healthy pregnancy and help employers understand their duties under the law. 
  • The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on April 19 and will take effect 60 days after publication, approximately mid-June.


Key bites from the final rule are: 

  • Provide examples of reasonable accommodations, including additional breaks, temporary reassignment, telework, or time off for health-related reasons.
  • Guidance on limitations and medical conditions for which employees may seek accommodation, such as miscarriage, migraines, lactation, and pregnancy-related conditions. This is based on the PWFA statutory language, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and relevant court decisions.
  • Encouragement for early and frequent communication between employers and employees to resolve accommodation requests promptly.
  • Clarification that employers are not required to seek supporting documentation for accommodation requests unless it’s reasonable under the circumstances.
  • Explanation of when accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an employer and his business.
  • Information on how employers can assert defenses or exemptions, including those based on religion, early in charge processing.


Business Considerations 

  • Update your policies and practices to comply with the final rule regarding the PWFA. 


Resources


Source References

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