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Month: June 2024

EEOC’s Final Rule on PWFA: What Employers Need to Know

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released the final regulations for implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a significant development for employers and employees alike. These new regulations, which include provisions for abortion accommodations, have sparked both applause and controversy. Here’s what employers need to know about the EEOC’s final rule on the PWFA.

Understanding the PWFA and Its Implications

The PWFA aims to provide accommodations for pregnant workers, covering conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The EEOC’s final rule extends these accommodations to include abortion, a decision that has generated considerable public and political discourse.

Key Provisions of the Final Rule

  1. Abortion Accommodations: The final rule includes abortion under “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” This means that employees can request reasonable accommodations for abortion procedures, including time off for the procedure and recovery. However, employers and healthcare providers are not required to fund or cover the cost of abortions or related travel expenses.
  2. Religious and Moral Objections: The EEOC acknowledges that many individuals and employers have deeply held religious or moral objections to abortion. The final rule states that these objections will be considered on a case-by-case basis, ensuring a balanced approach that respects both employees’ rights and employers’ beliefs.
  3. Additional Accommodations: Beyond abortion, the PWFA covers a range of accommodations for pregnant workers. These include additional breaks for water and restroom use, time off for healthcare appointments, temporary job reassignments, telework options, and accommodations for lactation.

Detailed Accommodations Under PWFA

The final regulations provide specific examples of reasonable accommodations, including:

  • Breaks: Additional breaks for eating, drinking water, or using the restroom.
  • Workplace Adjustments: Provision of stools or chairs for employees who need to sit while working.
  • Healthcare: Time off for health care appointments, including those related to pregnancy and recovery from childbirth.
  • Temporary Changes: Temporary reassignment or suspension of certain job duties that may pose a risk to pregnant workers.
  • Remote Work: Opportunities for telework to accommodate medical needs and recovery periods.
  • Lactation Support: Enhanced accommodations for breastfeeding, including designated lactation spaces with necessary amenities.

Documentation and Self-Confirmation

The EEOC encourages employers to minimize documentation requirements for pregnant workers seeking accommodations. The final rule specifies that for predictable assessments, such as lactation, employers should primarily rely on self-confirmation rather than extensive documentation. However, employers may seek reasonable documentation to confirm the physical or medical condition and the need for accommodation.

What Employers Should Do Next

Given the extensive implications of the PWFA and the EEOC’s final rule, employers should take proactive steps to ensure compliance and support their pregnant workers effectively. Here are some recommended actions:

  1. Review and Update Policies: Employers should review their current policies on pregnancy accommodations and update them to align with the new EEOC regulations. This includes incorporating provisions for abortion accommodations and other related medical conditions.
  2. Train Management and HR Staff: It’s crucial to train management and human resources personnel on the new regulations to ensure they understand the requirements and can handle accommodation requests appropriately.
  3. Communicate with Employees: Employers should clearly communicate the updated policies and available accommodations to all employees. This transparency helps foster a supportive work environment and ensures that employees are aware of their rights.
  4. Consult Legal Counsel: Given the legal complexities and potential for religious and moral objections, employers should consult with legal counsel to navigate the nuances of the PWFA and ensure compliance while respecting their own organizational values.


The EEOC’s final rule on the PWFA marks a significant step in protecting the rights of pregnant workers and ensuring they receive necessary accommodations. Employers must stay informed and proactive in implementing these regulations to create a supportive and compliant workplace.

Legal Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Employers should consult with an attorney to address specific legal concerns and ensure compliance with applicable laws.

Key Employee Headcount Milestones for Small Businesses and Start-Ups: Staying Compliant with US Employment Laws

Running a small business or start-up in the United States involves more than just managing operations and driving growth. It also requires a thorough understanding of various employment laws that come into play as your workforce expands. Different legal requirements are triggered at different employee headcount milestones. Here, we’ll discuss these critical thresholds and what you, as a business owner, need to be aware of to stay compliant with US law.

1 Employee

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA sets standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor. As soon as you hire your first employee, you must ensure that you are paying at least the federal minimum wage and proper overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additionally, child labor laws under FLSA dictate the types of jobs and hours minors can work.

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

OSHA mandates that employers provide a safe and healthy work environment. Even with just one employee, you are required to comply with safety standards and report serious workplace injuries and illnesses.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

Under the INA, all employers must verify the employment eligibility of their employees by completing Form I-9. This verification ensures that all hires are authorized to work in the United States.

15 Employees

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

When your business grows to 15 employees, you must comply with Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. This includes hiring, firing, promotions, and other employment practices.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and prohibits discrimination based on disability. This law aims to ensure equal opportunities for all employees.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act 

This act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Employers must treat pregnancy and related conditions the same as any other temporary disability.

20 Employees

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The ADEA protects employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination based on age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, and other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

COBRA requires that group health plans offer continued coverage to employees and their families in certain instances where coverage would otherwise be lost. This law applies to businesses with 20 or more employees.

50 Employees

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

Once you reach 50 employees, the FMLA mandates that you provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific family and medical reasons. Employers must also maintain group health insurance coverage during this leave.

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer affordable health insurance to their employees and their dependents. You must also report coverage information to the IRS.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) EEO-1 Report

Businesses with 50 or more employees must file an annual EEO-1 Report. This report includes data on the composition of your workforce by job category, race, ethnicity, and gender, ensuring equal employment opportunities.

100 Employees

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act

The WARN Act requires employers to provide 60 days’ advance notice of covered plant closings and mass layoffs. This law helps ensure that workers have adequate time to prepare for the transition.

Stay Informed and Compliant 

Navigating the complex landscape of employment laws can be daunting, but staying informed about these key milestones is crucial for maintaining compliance and avoiding legal issues. Regularly review federal, state, and local employment laws to ensure your business remains compliant as it grows.

At Career Strategy Consultants, we understand the challenges of managing a growing workforce. Our expert staffing services can help you find the right talent while ensuring compliance with all relevant employment laws. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your business growth.

Legal Disclaimer: This blog is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney regarding any of these topics to ensure your business complies with all applicable laws.