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What You Should Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)

The beauty and miracle of pregnancy may leave expectant moms glowing, however morning sickness, discomfort, and sleeplessness are a completely different story not worth mentioning. Many mothers agree that pregnancy is an amazing feat of the human body and celebrate their progress toward childbirth. It's especially important during pregnancy that reasonable accommodations are established in the workplace to best enable pregnant employees to perform their current job responsibilities. What accommodations is your workplace required to provide in order to be in compliance with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). We've connected with Healthy Horizons to help you f
ind the information and resources you need to know about pregnancy, breastfeeding, the PWFA and many more related topics.

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What You Should Know About the PWFA

What is the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act?

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees  who have known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PWFA was Signed into law in December, 2022, the PWFA went into effect June 29, 2023.

Opening up a discussion on the significance of the PWFA, recently I was given the opportunity to consult with the mother-daughter team from Healthy Horizons, proudly standing upon their thirty-year history of "empowering breastfeeding families". 

Researching the impact of the implementation of the PWFA provides families with information about the requirements employers are to provide as reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers. Bringing relief to pregnant employees, reasonable accommodations are defined as any types of modifications or adjustments to the work environment to enable a pregnant worker to perform the essential functions of their job.

What this act means for employers is that unless these changes would impose an undue hardship on the business, some workplace adjustments are to be expected. A few examples of reasonable accommodations include-

- Additional Breaks for Restroom/Rest/Eating/Drinking
- Lighter or Less Strenuous Work
- Modified/Flexible Work Schedule
- Private Space to Pump Breast Milk

With the benefits of reasonable accommodations in place, it's important to keep in mind that the PWFA does not require employers to create new jobs or positions for pregnant workers. Employers are also not required to provide benefits that are not already provided to all employees.

The PWFA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you because of your pregnancy, you can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

Visit Healthy Horizons for more information and resources.

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