The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which enshrines the right of pregnant and postpartum workers to reasonable accommodations in their workplaces, will go into effect on June 27. The UFCW helped to pass this legislation, which was signed into law on Dec. 29, 2022.
Until now, there were no legal protections for workers who needed workplace accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Therefore, many women were forced out of the workforce, putting them and their families in a financially perilous position.
The new law covers federal and private employers with more than 15 employees and the workers can be in full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal positions. Employers must have good faith discussions regarding what accommodations the worker needs and cannot retaliate against them by firing or reducing their hours.
Reasonable accommodations may include:
• light duty;
• additional and/or more flexible breaks;
• private space for lactations needs;
• allowing water at the workstation; and
• scheduling flexibility to attend medical appointments.
“The UFCW is proud to have supported the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and thrilled that this new law goes into effect across the country this month,” said International Vice President and Director of the Legislative and Political Action Department Ademola Oyefeso. “This new law makes it easier for our members who are pregnant or recovering from childbirth to protect their health and continue working if they want. This law protects union and non-union workers alike and no employer can punish or fire you for requesting accommodations for pregnancy or pumping at work.”
You can learn more about the rights workers have under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.