On April 15, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2024, and will become effective sixty days later.

Quick Hits

  • On April 15, 2024, the EEOC issued the final rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which went into effect on June 27, 2023.
  • The EEOC touts the final rules’ “[n]umerous examples of reasonable accommodations,” “[g]uidance regarding limitations and medical conditions for which employees or applicants may seek reasonable accommodation,” and “[g]uidance encouraging early and frequent communication between employers and workers.”
  • The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2024, and will take effect in the third week of June 2024.

The PWFA became effective on June 27, 2023, and the EEOC published its proposed regulations on the PWFA in the Federal Register in August 2023. Eight months later, on April 3, 2024, the EEOC approved the final rule by majority vote.  

According to the EEOC, the final rule and interpretative guidance “reflect the EEOC’s deliberation and response to the approximately 100,000 public comments received on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” In the final rule’s accompanying press release, the EEOC also asserts that the final rule “provides clarity to employers and workers about who is covered, the types of limitations and medical conditions covered, how individuals can request reasonable accommodations, and numerous concrete examples.”

The final rule’s projected publication date in the Federal Register is April 19, 2024, and the final rule becomes effective sixty days thereafter.

Next Steps

While the proposed regulations will not go into effect until sixty days after publication in the Federal Register, employers may wish to review and revise their policies and current accommodation processes, given the PWFA itself is currently in effect.

For more information on the EEOC’s final rule and interpretive guidance implementing the PWFA—including insight on how the final rule accords with and departs from interactive process and reasonable accommodation practices under the ADA—please join us for our upcoming webinar, “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the EEOC’s Final Regulations,” which will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT). The speakers, Stacy M. BunckTiffany Cox Stacy, and Christine Bestor Townsend, will review the documentation requirements, list of medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and examples of reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions. Register here.

Ogletree Deakins’ Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation Practice Group has published a comprehensive article on the final rule and will publish updates on the Leaves of Absence blog as additional information becomes available. Also stay tuned for a podcast on this topic in the coming days.

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Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation

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