New Law to Go Into Effect on June 18, 2024

Nearly two years ago, the U.S. Congress approved, and President Biden signed, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a federal statute that ensures that workers have adequate protections when pregnant, facing childbirth or requiring medical attention for a number of related conditions. The law was initially set to become effective on June 27, 2023, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission needed to clarify some provisions of the law first.

What Does the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Require?

The statute, as initially written, mandates that an employer provide a “reasonable accommodation” in response to any “qualified” employee’s known limitations connected to or resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical concerns. The employer may, however, be exempt from compliance if doing so would cause an “undue hardship.” The new law applies to all private and public employers with 15 or more employees, as well as employment agencies, labor organizations, and all federal agencies, including Congress.

Under the language of the law, an employer may not:

  • Refuse or fail to make a reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would result in an undue hardship
  • Punish or retaliate against an employee because of a request for or use of a reasonable accommodation
  • Force an employee to take unpaid leave if a reasonable accommodation can be made that will allow the worker to keep her job
  • Compel a worker to accept a unilaterally imposed “reasonable accommodation”—any such accommodation must be the product of an interactive process

We Can Help Protect Your Employment Rights

At the Romero Law Group, PLLC, we handle a wide range of legal issues for employees in Nassau and Suffolk Counties; in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx; in Westchester; and across Northern New Jersey. We offer a free initial consultation to any employee with a potential employment law dispute. To schedule an appointment, contact our offices online or call us at (631)257-5588.