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New Federal Pregnancy Protections for Employees

January 26, 2023

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, Congress passed two new pregnancy-related laws requiring covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The two new laws are the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), effective June 27, 2023, and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act), effective April 28, 2023. These laws will generally enhance the protections afforded to pregnant employees and create new compliance obligations for employers.

The PWFA will require employers with 15 or more employees to grant temporary and reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees or pregnant job applicants. Under the current Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), covered employers are generally only prohibited from discriminating against pregnant employees. The PDA does not, however, guarantee accommodations for pregnant employees. The PWFA will not only require covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, but will also prohibit employers from discriminating against a job applicant or employee because of their need for a pregnancy-related accommodation.

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Conner Porterfield

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