NCLEJ Urges EEOC To Improve Proposed Rules of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Over the years, NCLEJ has represented workers who were victims of pregnancy discrimination. We believe that no one should have to choose between their job and their health or a healthy pregnancy.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) recognizes the importance of ensuring that pregnant workers can remain healthy and obtain reasonable accommodations while continuing their jobs. We laud the EEOC’s efforts to combat pregnancy discrimination with the PWFA. However, we believe that several aspects of the proposed rule to implement the PWFA do not provide sufficient protections for pregnant workers. If adopted as is, the proposed rule risks imposing unnecessary financial, physical, and mental burden on workers, contributing to substantial delay in receiving accommodations, and deterring workers from seeking the accommodations they need.
To better protect pregnant workers, we strongly encourage the agency to:
- Modify the definition of reasonable documentation so that it is not unnecessarily invasive. It should be sufficient for a healthcare provider to describe the employee’s limitation, confirm that it’s related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, and state that they require accommodation.
- Clarify that employers cannot require employees to submit any particular medical, ADA, or FMLA certification form so long a health care provider documents the requisite three pieces of information above.
- Make the category of accommodations that alleviate pain and reduce health risks more prominent in the rule and add additional examples to the appendix.
- Delete unnecessary language related to the above category of accommodations that may create confusion about the legal standard.
Read the full letter here.