Employers Must Update “Know Your Rights” Posters to Reflect New Protections for Pregnant Workers
As we previously reported, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect June 27, 2023, expanding reasonable accommodation protections for pregnant employees. As an initial compliance step, employers must remove their existing “Know Your Rights” posters and replace them with this updated version from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Covered employers must post the revised EEOC “Know Your Rights” poster in a conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted. The poster must be changed to this current version within a reasonable period of time.
Effective June 27, 2023, the PWFA requires covered employers (those with 15 or more employees) to grant reasonable accommodations to employees with limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions unless the requested accommodation would cause an “undue hardship” on an employer’s operations. An undue hardship is a significant difficulty or expense for the employer, and employers should consider consulting legal counsel before determining whether an accommodation request presents an undue hardship. The PWFA prohibits employers from requiring an employee to accept an accommodation without a discussion and requiring employees to go on leave if another accommodation will enable the employee to continue working. The PWFA also prohibits discrimination or retaliation against an employee who has sought a reasonable accommodation relating to pregnancy.
Examples of reasonable accommodations that may be available to employees under the new law include: offering additional, longer, or more flexible breaks to eat, drink, rest, or use the restroom; providing leave for medical appointments or to recover from childbirth; and changing work schedules by shortening hours or allowing for part-time work.
Michael E. Walton, a third year law student at the University of Toledo and law clerk with Eastman & Smith, contributed to this article.
Disclaimer: This alert has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.