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New Federal Protections in Place for Pregnant Workers

New Federal Protections in Place for Pregnant Workers

President Biden recently signed into law an omnibus government spending bill that includes two new pieces of legislation affecting the federal rights of nursing and pregnant employees in the workplace: the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act & the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).

The PUMP Act requires employers to provide a private space and reasonable break times for employees to express breast milk for a nursing child for one year after the child's birth. Prior to the amendment, pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, employers were required to provide reasonable break time and a private location for nursing only to nonexempt employees. The PUMP Act expands such protections to exempt employees.

The PWFA requires most employers to make reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions of a qualified employee unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship. The Americans with Disabilities Act already grants similar protections to workers with disabilities related to pregnancy but the PWFA expands protections to the conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as related medical conditions, that are not defined as disabilities under the ADA.

Many states already have similar rules in place, and it is important to note that the PWFA does not preempt any state or local law that provides greater protections. Click here to read more from Kramer Levin.



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