Congress enhances laws protecting pregnant and nursing mothers at work

President Biden has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes two enhancements to the protections applicable to pregnant and nursing mothers at work:

  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (CAA Sec. 101-109) applies to employers of 15 or more, subject to some exceptions, and requires reasonable accommodations of pregnancy, even though a short-term condition that would not otherwise generally qualify under the ADA as a “disability,” and a two-way interactive process for considerations of such requests. It also protects such employees from retaliation and discrimination. This new law also prohibits employers from mandating that a pregnant worker absent a reasonable accommodation that has not been developed through the interactive process or mandating that the pregnant worker take leave as a reasonable accommodation over their objection.
  • The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act, CAA Div. KK, Sec. 102) requires workers be allowed reasonable breaks to express , for up to one year after the birth of a child, in a private space, not a bathroom.

The EEOC has issued information explaining the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here, and the DOL re the PUMP Act here.

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