The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which is now in effect as of June 27, 2023, requires employers provide accommodations to pregnant workers for everything from pregnancy through the postpartum period, including time off to recover.
The law protects those who work for private or public sector employers with 15 employees or more. Congress, federal agencies, employment agencies and labor organizations are all covered, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency tasked with enforcing the law. The law does not cover very small employers. The cutoff at 15 employees mirrors other workplace discrimination laws that set the same standard.
The Act requires certain employers to offer “reasonable accommodations that include fertility treatments, morning sickness — including hyperemesis, an extremely severe morning sickness and nausea condition — lactation, complications, gestational diabetes, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression and conditions including mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue that typically occurs when breastfeeding. It includes time off to recover from childbirth, as well as time off to access abortion care.
The PWFA does not replace federal, state, or local laws that are more protective of workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. More than 30 states and cities have laws that provide accommodations for pregnant workers.
For more information, visit the EEOC website here.