The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a new law that will take effect later this year, and it will provide significant benefits to pregnant professionals in New York State. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants who are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition, and it requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to these employees to ensure they can continue working safely throughout their pregnancy. Our law firm remains committed to promoting workplace equality and advocating for the rights of pregnant workers, and we are excited about the benefits that this new law will provide to our clients.
The PWFA applies to all employers in New York State with four or more employees and prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This means that employers cannot refuse to hire, terminate, or otherwise discriminate against an employee or job applicant because they are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or postpartum depression.
In addition to prohibiting discrimination, the PWFA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees to ensure they can continue working safely throughout their pregnancy. Reasonable accommodations can include things like allowing employees to sit down, take more frequent breaks, or adjust their work schedule or job duties to avoid hazardous conditions. Employers must provide these accommodations unless they would cause an undue hardship on the business.
One of the most significant benefits of the PWFA is that it provides pregnant employees with the support they need to continue working safely and productively throughout their pregnancy. Before this law, many pregnant women faced barriers in the workplace, such as being forced to take unpaid leave, being demoted, or terminated, or being forced to work in unsafe conditions. These barriers put pregnant women at risk and limited their ability to earn a living and advance their careers.
With the PWFA in place, pregnant professionals can now rest assured that they will be protected from discrimination and provided with the accommodations they need to continue working safely and productively. This means that they can focus on their work and their families without worrying about losing their jobs or facing other forms of discrimination.
Another significant benefit of the PWFA is that it will help to promote gender equality in the workplace. Historically, women have faced significant workplace barriers, including pregnancy and childbirth discrimination. By providing pregnant professionals with the support they need to continue working safely and productively, the PWFA helps to level the playing field and ensure that women have the same opportunities to succeed as their male colleagues.
Finally, the PWFA also benefits employers, as it helps create a more productive and inclusive workplace. Employers can retain valuable talent and maintain a stable and committed workforce by providing reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. This can result in lower turnover rates, increased employee morale, and a better reputation as an employer of choice.
At Ricotta and Marks, our pregnancy discrimination lawyers are excited about the benefits that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will provide to our clients, and we are committed to helping pregnant professionals navigate these new protections to ensure they are able to continue working safely and productively throughout their pregnancy. If you are a pregnant professional in New York State and you believe you have been the victim of discrimination or have been denied reasonable accommodations, please contact our office to discuss your legal options. We are here to help.