The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know

A new federal law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, took effect on June 27. The bipartisan law requires employers with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, ensuring their health and safety while promoting increased women’s labor force participation. ┬áThis legislation prompts employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, such as light-duty work, extra breaks, and time off for doctor visits and necessary health issues related to pregnancy.

By offering these accommodations, employers can retain more women in the workforce and foster a more inclusive work environment. A notable aspect of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is its potential to be a backdoor expansion of maternity leave. Workers can now request leave to recover from childbirth, even if they don’t meet the eligibility criteria of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, the new law covers various pregnancy-related health issues, including miscarriage, postpartum depression, and mastitis.