For those of you who have been watching the legislative front for HR related items in your own states, the Feds also have a regulatory update on a law passed in 2021 which will become effective just this year. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is effective June 27, 2023, and requires that covered employers provide reasonable accommodation to limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Currently, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has an amendment to prohibit pregnancy discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Therefore, some pregnancy-related conditions may be considered disabilities under the law. In addition, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at least thirty states have their own state or city laws, including the State of New Mexico, which provides similar protection.
The EEOC is planning to issue a proposed version of the regulations for public input before finalization, but the law will go into effect on June 27, 2023. The EEOC will accept charges on cases under the new law which occur on June 27, 2023, or later. It is not clear whether the EEOC will consider an ongoing allegation that began before June 27, 2023, but continued afterwards as having met the criteria of falling under the new law.
The EEOC has stated that after June 27, 2023, the EEOC will be using the PWFA to analyze charges. The PWFA will cover employers with at least 15 employees, Congress, federal agencies, employment agencies, and labor organizations. It is important to note that the New Mexico Human Rights Act which covers both discrimination and medical accommodations, applies to employers with 4 or more employees.
If you are unsure of your obligations regarding accommodating pregnancy related conditions, contact us at Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) today!
Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org