The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act were signed into law in Dec. 2022, expanding federal protections for pregnant and nursing employees and clarifying the rights and treatment of working mothers. They attempt to align with mandates under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and various state laws.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Effective June 27, 2023, dealerships with 15 or more employees must determine reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant applicants and employees with pregnancy- or childbirth-related conditions and must provide such accommodations unless doing so would impose undue hardships. The PWFA makes it an unlawful to:
- Fail to make reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to a qualified employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.
- Require qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition to accept accommodations not arrived at through an interactive process.
- Require qualified employees to take a paid or unpaid leave of absence if other reasonable accommodations can be provided.
- Take adverse employment actions (retaliate) against qualified employees based on their request for or use of PWFA-related reasonable accommodations.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is expected to issue rules by December 2023 that include examples of reasonable accommodations.
Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act
Effective December 29, 2022, dealerships must provide nursing employees with reasonable break time and private locations (other than restrooms) to pump breast milk for up to one year after the birth of a child. The break time need not be paid unless the dealership otherwise compensates employees for breaks. Dealerships with fewer than 50 employees are exempt if they can show an undue hardship. Employees must provide employers with a notice of any alleged failure to comply and wait 10 days for a remedy before initiating an action. This notice period is waived for employees terminated in retaliation for requesting a space to pump breast milk or for opposing a refusal to provide such a space.
What this Means for Dealers
Dealership policies and procedures should be evaluated and modified as necessary to address accommodation requests from pregnant and nursing employees and those with childbirth-related medical conditions. Training may be necessary for personnel responsible for fielding and administering such accommodation requests. Note: Many states have pregnancy, childbirth, and/or nursing accommodation laws that may be stricter than federal law.
For more information on state laws, please contact your state dealership association. For questions related to the PWFA or PUMP Act, please reach out to email@example.com.