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Understanding the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Blog, Workplace Discrimination

When you work for a covered Indiana employer and become pregnant, you have certain protections in place when it comes to your condition. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act sets guidelines your employer must follow when it comes to allowing you to pump breast milk on the job. However, new workplace protection for pregnant women is set to take effect this summer. The new protection sets clearer guidelines about the accommodations your employer must make for you during pregnancy.

Per the American Civil Liberties Union, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act takes effect on June 27, 2023.

What the PWFA does

What the PWFA does is assert that covered employers, or public or private sector employers that have at least 15 staff members working underneath them, must provide “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant workers who experience limitations as a result of their pregnancy-related medical condition. They must provide these accommodations unless they demonstrate that doing so would result in “undue hardship” to them. There are other laws already in place that make it illegal for employers to discriminate against you because of your condition. However, the new PWFA applies to workplace accommodations, exclusively.

How the PWFA supplements existing laws

The new PWFA does not eradicate existing laws the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission currently enforces that make it unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you due to your pregnancy. It also does not replace any existing federal or state laws that provide additional protections for pregnant employees.

Reasonable accommodations take on many different forms. However, if you need more rest breaks, exclusion from strenuous activities or similar accommodations, the PWFA helps ensure your employer makes them on your behalf.


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