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PWFA Final Regulations Take EffectClient-Focused & Passionate Representation

PWFA Final Regulations Take Effect

Pregnant3

Employees who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in South Florida should know that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) final regulation for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) went into effect on June 18, 2024. The PWFA applies to pregnancy-related accommodations in the workplace. Given that the final regulation is now in effect, our Palm Beach Gardens pregnancy discrimination attorneys want to provide you with more information about your rights and what you will need to do in order to obtain a pregnancy-related accommodation under the PWFA now that the final regulation is in effect.

Know Whether You Are Covered

 The PWFA initially took effect in June 2023, and the final regulation for its implementation took effect on June 18, 2024 (it was issued in April 2024). Covered employees include those who work for an employer with 15 or more employees.

Know What Pregnancy-Related Conditions Are Covered 

The PWFA clarifies that “pregnancy…and related medical conditions” are covered. A wide range of pregnancy-related conditions can allow an employee to obtain a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA, such as:

  • Past pregnancy;
  • Current pregnancy;
  • Miscarriage;
  • Postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis;
  • Menstruation;
  • Lactation;
  • Fertility treatment; and/or
  • Contraception use.

If you have any medical condition that is related to an attempt to become pregnant, being pregnant, or giving birth, you should consider your ability to obtain a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA.

Know About Possible Reasonable Accommodations 

What constitutes a reasonable accommodation will depend on the circumstances, but in general, as the EEOC explains, a reasonable accommodation according to the PWFA is similar to the definition used by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It means “a change in the work environment or how things are usually done.” The final rule gives specific examples of changes in the work environment that could be reasonable accommodations under the PWFA. That list includes the following, as cited in the final rule:

  • Frequent breaks;
  • Sitting/standing;
  • Schedule changes;
  • Part-time work;
  • Paid and unpaid leave;
  • Telework;
  • Parking;
  • Light duty;
  • Making existing facilities accessible or modifying the work environment;
  • Job restructuring;
  • Temporarily suspending one or more essential functions;
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, uniforms, or devices; and
  • Adjusting or modifying examinations or policies.

Other reasonable accommodations might also be possible. The above list, which is cited in the final rule, is a list of possible accommodations.

Know What You Need to Provide to Obtain a Reasonable Accommodation 

What type of information or documentation do you need to provide in order to obtain a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA? In general, an employee simply must communicate their pregnancy-related limitation to the employer, making their limitation or condition known. An employer cannot ask for proof of pregnancy. Accordingly, an employee providing the information should be sufficient.

Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney 

If you have questions or concerns about your rights under the PWFA, an experienced Palm Beach Gardens pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Sconzo Law Office is here to assist you. We represent employees in a wide range of discrimination cases, including pregnancy discrimination claims. Contact us today for more information.

Sources:

eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-pregnant-workers-fairness-act

eeoc.gov/summary-key-provisions-eeocs-final-rule-implement-pregnant-workers-fairness-act-pwfa

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