TLF wanted to bring your attention to a few important pieces of legislation that has recently been introduced in the United States Congress December 29, 2022, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act.
The PWFA is aimed at ensuring that pregnant workers receive reasonable accommodations allowing them to continue working throughout their pregnancy. The act would require employers (with more than 15 employees) to provide accommodations such as modified work schedules, additional breaks, or temporary reassignments to pregnant employees who need them. The PWFA would also prohibit employers from discriminating against pregnant employees or job applicants. Accordingly, this law provides protection from retaliation and wrongful termination to any employee who seeks an accommodation for a pregnancy-related reason. This law will be effective June 29, 2023.
Additionally, PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act is an expansion of the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law. PUMP would require employers to provide reasonable break times and private lactation spaces for nursing mothers. The act would ensure that nursing mothers are able to continue working while also catering to the needs of their infants. Further, note that employees generally must notify the employer that they are not in compliance and provide the employer with 10 days to come into compliance with the required accommodations. The legislation went into effect immediately when it was signed, however, the enforcement provision included a 120-day delay, making the effective date for that provision April 28, 2023.
These changes are important strides towards ensuring that pregnant workers and nursing mothers are able to continue working without fear of discrimination or adverse treatment. As always, TLF will keep you informed on any further updates regarding changes in the law.