The EEOC Works Fast (This Time) – Proposed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Regulations are Here!

by Marti Cardi, Esq. - Senior Compliance Consultant and Legal Counsel

& Lana L. Rupprecht, Esq. - AVP, Product Compliance

August 15, 2023

 

EEOC Lumen holding babyThe federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) went into effect on June 27, 2023. You can read our prior blogs about the Act here:

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Reminder and Updated Poster

Take Care of Your Pregnant Employees! Workplace Protections Continue to Increase

Get Ready to Comply with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) in 2023

The Act assigned the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the task of drafting and implementing supporting regulations by December 29 of this year, and they have wasted no time. On August 7 the EEOC issued proposed regulations. They were officially published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2023, starting a 60-day public comment period.

“Regulations” are additional guidance that puts the meat on the bones of a law. While they don’t have the force of law, they are given deference by courts in interpreting a statute and its application in a lawsuit. And, for us ordinary citizens, it tells us how the enforcing agency – in this case the EEOC – interprets the law and so how to comply in a way that will not get us in trouble with the agency. Always a good thing!

At Reliance Matrix we're on it and are reviewing the EEOC's posting, which includes introductory material, the actual proposed regulations, and interpretive guidance – 275 pages in all! (OK, so the document is double spaced, but still...) Expect a blog post from Reliance Matrix soon with lots of details. Although these are the draft regulations and the EEOC will receive many public comments, it is likely that the final regs will be substantially similar to the draft.