The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final regulations and Interpretative Guidance to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which took effect on June 27, 2023. The PWFA mandates that employers with at least 15 employees provide reasonable accommodations, unless undue hardship is present to qualified employees and applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Despite a deadline of December 29, 2023, the EEOC issued the final regulations on April 15, 2024. The regulations, which received over 100,000 public comments, clarify and expand upon the circumstances requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations.

Key points addressed in the final regulations include coverage of various pregnancy-related conditions, such as fertility treatments, postpartum depression, and lactation. They also maintain a list of reasonable accommodation requests that typically do not pose an undue hardship, like breaks for eating and drinking or permission to sit instead of standing. The regulations define a “qualified individual” as someone who can perform essential functions in the near future, with a presumption that a pregnant employee can do so within 40 weeks. Other conditions are not subject to this 40-week limitation. Additionally, the regulations restrict the documentation employers can request to support a request for accommodation and suggest providing interim accommodation as a best practice.

The regulations clarify that there is no right to accommodation based on an individual’s association with someone with a PWFA-covered limitation or based on an individual’s own limitation arising from someone else’s pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. They also state that time for bonding or childcare is not covered under the PWFA.

GCCA’s Employment Law Partner, Jackson Lewis, will be hosting a free webinar on May 10, 2024, at 1:00PM ET, to discuss the final regulations and how they differ from the proposed regulations and provide practical advice for complying with the PWFA. The webinar registration link can be found here. In addition to the webinar, you can access a comprehensive analysis of the regulations here.

Published Date

April 21, 2024


Advocacy, Cold Chain Development, Government & Regulatory Affairs


United States


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