EEOC Announces Final Pregnancy Accommodation Regulation

On April 15, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) unveiled the final version of a rule serving to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a 2022 law bolstering employees’ legal protections relating to pregnancy and childbirth. The rule will take effect two months after its April 19 publication in the Federal Register.

The PWFA, which went into effect in June, requires employers to offer reasonable workplace accommodations to pregnant workers and those who have conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, unless the accommodations would cause undue hardship on the business. The law required the EEOC to issue implementing regulations by the one-year mark of President Joe Biden signing it into law on December 29, 2022. The agency met this requirement just days before the deadline.
Although the law received bipartisan support when it was passed, certain additions from the EEOC have caused controversy, such as the agency’s position that having, or choosing not to have, an abortion is one of the conditions falling within the scope of the PWFA. The EEOC maintained that position in the final version: “The Commission…received many comments that expressed deeply held beliefs, including religious beliefs, that abortion is a necessary part of health care and that an employer’s religious beliefs should not dictate an employee’s ability to receive a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA.”
To read the recently unveiled rule, please click here.
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