June 25, 2024

EEOC Issues Final Regulations on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

As discussed here, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) on April 19, 2024. The PWFA final regulation became effective June 18, 2024, mandating employers provide reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless providing the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship. Below is a summary of the regulation’s key points:

Key Points: 

  • Employers must accommodate qualified employees’ pregnancy-related limitations unless doing so will cause an undue hardship. 
  • The PWFA applies to any employer subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). 
  • Remedies and enforcement align with those provided for under Title VII allowing for similar procedures and available remedies. 

Employers subject to Title VII should take the following steps to ensure compliance:  

  • Review and update accommodation policies and practices to comply with the PWFA. 
  • Train human resources and supervisory personnel on the new requirements to ensure proper handling of accommodation requests. 
  • Establish clear communication channels for employees to request accommodations. 
  • Document all efforts to provide reasonable accommodations and any instances of undue hardship. 

Employers subject to state and federal laws governing pregnancy-related accommodations must follow and apply the law(s) most favorable to the employee.  

More information about the PWFA and the EEOC’s final rule, including resources for employers, is available on the EEOC’s “What You Should Know about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” webpage. Employers should also consult with legal counsel to ensure full compliance with the PWFA and related regulations.