In Due Time

On April 15, 2024, the EEOC issued its long-awaited final rule implementing the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”). It is scheduled to become effective on June 18, 2024.

The PWFA requires covered employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified employee’s known limitations related to, affected by, or arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, unless the accommodation will create an undue hardship.

The final rule broadly defines several terms and clarifies that a condition need not constitute a “disability” to qualify for protection under the PWFA. It provides several examples of possible reasonable accommodations, including frequent breaks, schedule changes, telework, job restructuring, temporary suspension of one or more essential functions, equipment/uniform modification, and temporary adjustment of workplace policies. Additionally, among other things, the final rule identifies the following reasonable accommodation requests that will, “in virtually all cases,” not impose an undue hardship: (1) allowing an employee to carry or keep water near and drink as needed; (2) allowing an employee to take additional restroom breaks as needed; (3) allowing an employee whose work requires standing to sit and whose work requires sitting to stand as needed; and (4) allowing an employee to take breaks to eat and drink as needed.

If you need expert guidance on how this rule affects your workplace policies, call us today at 248.477.6300.

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