What You Need to Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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Everything You Need to Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Everything You Need to Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act

Beginning a family is an exciting and life-changing experience. However, the journey of pregnancy and raising a family in the United States is complicated. On one hand, birth rates are dropping in America, so having children is encouraged to solidify future generations. Unfortunately, in today’s economic climate, it is very common and essential, in most cases, for both parents to be employed in order to meet the basic needs of the family unit.

Nowadays, families often can’t survive off of one salary, which means expectant mothers must work leading up to and soon after giving birth. Despite all of this, many pregnant workers can’t find jobs or ensure that they still have a job to come back to after giving birth.

In response to this problem, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) was created and passed in June of 2023. This gave pregnant workers many protections and rights to protect them and their families. The problem is that not everyone knows their rights.

When you don’t know what rights you have, you can’t utilize them, and your employers can use this against you. The pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Barrett & Farahany can explain.

What Does the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act Do?

This law helps pregnant workers in multiple ways. It gives pregnant people protections and rights in the workplace and removes requirements for reporting abuses against workers. To be specific:

  • The PWFA removes the requirement that employees have to prove why they should be accommodated. Now, it’s on the employers to work in good faith or prove that the employee does not need accommodations rather than the other way around.
  • The law promises time off from work after childbirth for recovery. Workers of companies who don’t qualify for federal leave now qualify under the PWFA.
  • This act promises pregnant workers accommodations for them to complete fertility treatments, take breaks or delays due to morning sickness, or other symptoms and conditions such as lactation, gestational diabetes, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression, and mastitis.
  • Women who seek to end their pregnancies through abortion care have protected time off to access it.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which predates this new law, had a loophole where pregnant workers could only get an accommodation if they could prove that another employee had been given one. This is no longer necessary.

What Accommodations Can Pregnant Employees Expect?

Each person’s pregnancy is different, so there’s no established standard for what accommodations look like every time. There are some accommodations that pregnant workers should be able to expect. Some examples include things like:

  • Water bottles on the job
  • Stools to sit on
  • Increased break time
  • Time off from work from childbirth recovery
  • Medical leave for side effects, conditions, and diseases caused by pregnancy

Are There Any Exceptions to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act?

Under this law, all private and public entities that employ 15 or more employees must offer reasonable accommodations to their pregnant employees. If an employer does not abide by this law, pregnant employees can and should contact an attorney and report this incident to the proper authorities at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Contact the Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys at Barrett & Farahany

Workers and their families who are bringing new life into the world need to be able to support that new life as well. Being able to work without jeopardizing their health before giving birth, having the time to recover after giving birth, and having a job to return to is critical to this.

The PWFA protects your ability to do that if you are a pregnant employee, and you should not let the ignorance of the law be why your employer gets away with taking advantage of you. If you believe you have been wrongly denied a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy, contact our pregnancy discrimination attorneys today. Barrett & Farahany is here to help.

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Barrett & Farahany

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Atlanta, GA 30326

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Birmingham, AL 35203

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