Waldron & Schneider

Family Based Employment Update

Recent updates to family based employment laws and regulations include implementation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“Act”).  The Act went into effect on June 27, 2023, and requires all employers with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations” to an employee’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.”  The Act only applies to accommodations and does not impact a company’s obligations not to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It is also important to note that the Act does not replace federal, state, or local laws that are more protective of employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

The Act adds an option to pursue claims with the EEOC if an employee believes they are experiencing discriminatory practices.  For actions occurring prior to the June 27, 2023 implementation of the Act, employees may also be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Reasonable accommodations are changes to the work environment or the way things are usually done at work. Examples include, but are not limited to giving the employee the ability to sit or drink water; receive closer parking; have flexible hours; receive appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel; receive additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest; take leave or time off to recover from childbirth; and be excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy.   Companies are required to provide these accommodations unless the employer can show it would cause an undue hardship on the employer’s operations.  Undue hardships require a showing that the accommodation imposes a significant difficulty or expense for the employer.

In addition to providing reasonable accommodations, covered employers cannot:  

 

    • Require an employee to accept an accommodation without a discussion about the accommodation between the worker and the employer;
    • Deny a job or other employment opportunities to a qualified employee or applicant based on the person’s need for a reasonable accommodation;
    • Require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided that would let the employee keep working;
    • Retaliate against an individual for reporting or opposing unlawful discrimination under the Act or participating in a related proceeding (such as an investigation); or
    • Interfere with any individual’s rights under the Act.

 

If you have questions regarding the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act or other related federals laws which apply to pregnant employees such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993, or the PUMP Act, the attorneys at Waldron & Schneider are available to help.

The legal information in this blog entry is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  Further, nothing contained in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader.  This article and website are made available by Waldron & Schneider for educational purposes only and to give basic information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Waldron & Schneider. The article and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. For more information or questions you can contact us and one of our attorneys will be in touch soon.

 

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