AT A GLANCE
On December 23, 2022, Congress passed H.R. 2617, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act”, also referred to as the Omnibus Spending Bill, to fund the government through September 30, 2023. The 4,000-page bill contains the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act. The President signed the bill into law on December 29, 2022.
This law is effective June 27, 2023.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065) requires employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Act also prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers requesting assistance, such as light duty or other arrangements. Specifically, the bill declares that it is an unlawful employment practice to:
- Fail to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations of such employees unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an entity's business operation;
- Require a qualified employee affected by such condition to accept an accommodation other than any reasonable accommodation arrived at through an interactive process;
- Deny employment opportunities based on the need of the entity to make such reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee;
- Require such employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided; or
- Take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against a qualified employee requesting or using such reasonable accommodations.
- The bill sets forth enforcement procedures and remedies that cover different types of employees in relation to such unlawful employment practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must provide examples of reasonable accommodations that shall be provided to affected employees unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would impose an undue hardship. Employers should ensure that their policies are up-to-date and that they are prepared to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees as necessary.