Federal Government Expands Protections for Employees With Pregnancy-Related Conditions | Perkins Coie

US President Joe Biden signs the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Provision of Emergency Maternal Protection for Lactating Mothers Act (PUMP Act) on December 29, 2022 . Persons affected by pregnancy or related conditions, or who are breastfeeding.

The PWFA extends protections for pregnant employees beyond those required by the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The PDA prohibits discrimination on the grounds of a pregnancy-related condition, but only if the employer has provided the facility to other employees of similar ability or ability. is requesting The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant employees only if the employee has a pregnancy-related disability covered.

Effective June 27, 2023, the PWFA will require employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of eligible employees. is obliged to do about your employer. A qualified employee is an employee or applicant who is able to perform the essential functions of an employment position with or without reasonable accommodation. Under the PWFA, employers may require eligible employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept accommodations other than reasonable accommodations reached through the dialogue process, It is illegal for an employee to request or otherwise take time off. We can provide reasonable accommodation. The PWFA also prohibits denial of employment opportunities based on an employee’s need for a reasonable accommodation and disciplinary action against employment based on an employee’s request or use of a reasonable accommodation. prohibited.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must issue regulations to implement the PWFA within two years of enactment. The rules must provide examples of reasonable accommodations that address known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

The PUMP Act provides additional workplace protections for employees who need to express breast milk beyond those established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to provide a nursing mother with a reasonable rest period to express breast milk whenever an employee needs to express during her first year after giving birth. However, the PUMP Act extends that protection to her two years. The PUMP Act requires employers to provide an area, other than toilets, that employees can use to express breast milk, protected from view and intrusive from co-workers and members of the public. Employers are not required to compensate employees who receive reasonable break time unless the employee is completely relieved of duty during the break (as otherwise required by federal or state law, or local ordinance). (unless you are Employers with less than her 50 employees are not subject to her PUMP Act obligations regarding breastfeeding accommodations if such requirements impose an undue burden on the employer. The U.S. Secretary of Labor must issue guidance on her employer’s compliance with the PUMP Act within her 60 days from the date of enactment.


Many states already require consideration for pregnant or breastfeeding workers. The PWFA and PUMP laws are federal or state laws that provide greater or equal protection to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, or who need to express breast milk. does not disable or limit Businesses and individuals with questions about the PWFA or PUMP Act should contact experienced legal counsel for guidance on relevant policies and practices.

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