Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

What is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2023?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Pregnancy Discrimination

The majority of employers in California must provide their pregnant employees with “reasonable accommodations” under the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. As noted on the website, the accommodations must cover “known limitations.”

If you become pregnant, you have a right to communicate your work limitations to your employer. If you need certain accommodations to help you perform your job tasks during a pregnancy, you may ask for them. You may also request reasonable accommodations for any medical conditions related to childbirth or a pregnancy.

Reasonable changes to work conditions

The PWF Act requires employers to provide accommodations such as sitting down or sitting near a restroom. If you wish to park your vehicle closer to the doorway, you may ask to do so. Your employer must also provide safety gear that fits you and adjust your uniform sizes if necessary.

Employees can ask for flexibility in their schedules to take more water or meal breaks. When you need to rest or take time off, your employer must accommodate your request. You may also ask to refrain from heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activities.

Employees’ rights to protect their health

As reported by CBS News, civil rights advocacy groups spent 10 years campaigning to pass the PWF Act so that pregnant workers no longer need to choose between their jobs and their health. When working with compounds or chemicals that warn against using them while pregnant, your employer must allow you to avoid exposure if you request an accommodation.

Both federal and state labor laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their pregnant employees. They must also provide temporary adjustments to schedules, tasks or environments when pregnant workers ask for them.