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  • Writer's pictureLynette A. Whitfield

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Adds Protections for Pregnant Federal Workers

In a progressive step towards promoting equality and protecting the rights of pregnant employees, the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act (PWFA) ensures that pregnant individuals are treated fairly in the workplace, fostering an environment that prioritizes their well-being and rights. The PWFA was signed into law to address the gaps in protection for pregnant employees and to combat workplace discrimination. Although this legislation is not exclusive to any particular sector, its application within the federal government is of particular significance, given the size and influence of the federal workforce.

Pregnant worker with hand on stomach sitting at a desk using a laptop

The PWFA mandates that federal agencies provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, ensuring they can perform their job responsibilities without compromising their health or the health of their unborn child. These accommodations may include modified work schedules, adjustments to duties, or temporary transfers to less strenuous positions. The PWFA also prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Agencies are required to treat pregnant workers the same as non-pregnant workers, hopefully preventing any form of bias in hiring, promotions, or other employment-related decisions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a webpage containing information regarding the PWFA and resources for workers seeking accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Federal agencies are also obligated to inform employees about their rights under the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act. Education is a key component of the PWFA and empowers pregnant workers to assert their rights, seek the support they need and to seek redress if their rights under the PWFA are violated. Workers who believe that their rights under the PWFA have been violated should contact their agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity office to file a complaint.

The inclusion of the executive branch in the coverage of the PWFA signifies the commitment to the federal workforce to have a work environment that prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees. By implementing these protections, the federal government sets an example of supporting and promoting the equality of pregnant workers for all employers to follow.

If you are a federal employee who has been denied an accommodation or subjected to discrimination on any basis, please contact my office online or via telephone at (301) 869-8774 to schedule a consultation.

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice or representation, but rather to provide very general information regarding a variety of subject areas. The viewing of the information contained on this blog does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship. Further, this information should not be relied upon without first consulting with an attorney regarding your specific situation.

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