No expectant mother should have to face the unfair choice of whether they continue working or maintain a healthy pregnancy.
To address this workplace problem, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) came into effect only a few months back. This new law explicitly affords “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant employees for their limitations related to pregnancy, labor and other relevant medical conditions, unless it would pose undue hardships on a covered public or private employer.
Then, just a couple of days ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) already announced its proposed PWFA regulations that aim to guide employers for proper implementation.
Guidelines for employers
Any pregnant employee in Florida has the right to receive the following workplace reasonable accommodations from their employer without fear of employment discrimination or retaliation:
- Restructuring workload and schedules with light duties and flexible hours
- Allowing frequent eating, drinking and bathroom breaks
- Adjusting equipment or apparel with the appropriate size
- Permitting regular intervals or changes in sitting and standing positions
- Approving remote work and leaves meant for medical appointments and childbirth recovery
The EEOC welcomes possible clarifications from employers in terms of applying these accommodations. This will be a wise move as every pregnancy has unique needs, which may lead to misinterpretations of the law.
It is also essential for pregnant employees to request a discussion with their employer about these regulations. A dialogue could boost the employee’s morale and prevent the employer from facing possible claims due to vaguely explained procedures.
Fighting for equal work opportunities at work
Workplace discrimination laws keep changing as they try to come up with systems to protect vulnerable groups. Suppose you are now well along in your pregnancy journey. In that case, you can focus on your job while your legal counsel fights hard for your right to a safe and just workplace.