Galdean Law Firm Blog

Monday, July 3, 2023

Navigating the New Employment Law - Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

As of June 27, 2023, Employers are required to comply with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).  The PWFA represents a significant step towards ensuring fair treatment and protection for pregnant employees in the workplace. The following outlines key issues that employers and employees should consider ensuring compliance with the PWFA.

Understanding the PWFA

An Employer and Employees should familiarize themselves with the PWFA: Review the legislation in detail to grasp its scope, requirements, and potential implications for your organization. Seek legal advice from an experienced employment attorney if necessary to fully comprehend the provisions and their impact on your specific workplace. The Galdean Law Firm can assist with understanding and addressing the PWFA.

Obligations towards Pregnant Employees

  • Reasonable Accommodations: The PWFA mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, such as modifying work duties, schedules, or providing additional breaks, unless it poses an undue hardship on the business.

  • Interactive Process: Engage in an interactive process with the pregnant employee to determine appropriate accommodations. Maintain open and honest communication to foster a supportive work environment.

  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of all accommodation requests, discussions, and outcomes. Consistent documentation will help demonstrate compliance and protect against potential claims. 

Prohibited Practices

  • Discrimination: The PWFA explicitly prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees in all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotion, termination, or any adverse employment action based on their pregnancy status.

  • Retaliation: Employers must not retaliate against employees who assert their rights under the PWFA or participate in related proceedings. This includes protecting against adverse actions such as demotion, termination, or negative performance evaluations.

Employee Education and Training

  • Policies and Procedures: Establish clear policies and procedures that reflect compliance with the PWFA. Ensure all employees, supervisors, and HR personnel are familiar with these policies and understand their obligations.

  • Training Programs: Conduct regular training sessions on the PWFA to educate employees about their rights and responsibilities. Encourage open dialogue and questions to foster a supportive and inclusive work environment.

  • Employee Questions:  Employees should and will ask questions about issues that come under PWFA. An Employer needs to be prepared to respond to any question or issue that falls within PWFA. 

Reviewing Existing Policies and Practices

  • Pregnancy-Related Leave: Evaluate your existing leave policies to ensure they align with the PWFA requirements. Review maternity leave, parental leave, and any other relevant policies to avoid inadvertent discrimination or non-compliance.

  • Job Descriptions: Regularly review job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect the essential functions of each role. This will help determine appropriate accommodation and avoid potential disputes.

  • Workplace Safety: Assess workplace safety policies and practices to identify potential hazards that may affect pregnant employees or their unborn children. Make necessary adjustments to comply with PWFA requirements and protect employee well-being.

Seeking Legal Guidance

  • Consultation: Given the complexity and potential legal ramifications of the PWFA, consider consulting an experienced employment attorney. They can provide tailored advice, review policies, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws. The Galdean Law Firm can assist with the issues under the PWFA.

  • Policy Updates: Engage legal counsel to review and update your employment policies, handbooks, and contracts to ensure they are in line with the PWFA and other relevant legislation.  The Galdean Law Firm frequently prepares and advises on employment policies, handbooks, and contracts.

  • The EEOC will issue regulations that carry out the PWFA law.  Employer’s compliance with PWFA begins June 27, 2023.  After June 27, 2023, the EEOC will analyze any complaint from a lack of pregnancy accommodation under the PWFA and, where applicable other discrimination laws.


The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act serves as a critical framework for promoting fairness, equality, and protection for pregnant employees. By prioritizing compliance and understanding the obligations outlined in this new law, employers can create a supportive work environment and avoid potential legal pitfalls. Proactive efforts, such as providing reasonable accommodations, fostering open communication, and seeking legal guidance, will not only ensure compliance but also contribute to a positive and inclusive workplace culture. Please contact the experienced employment attorneys at Galdean Law Firm for assistance on employment law matters. 

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