The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its updated “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” (updated Know Your Rights) poster, which includes a section reflecting protections for pregnant workers under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). This poster will replace the previous October 2022 version of the poster. As the PWFA goes into effect on June 27th, 2023, the EEOC directs employers not to post the updated Know Your Rights poster until that date. The EEOC first released its Know Your Rights poster on October 19th, 2022, replacing the previous “EEO is the Law” poster and poster supplement.
Overview of the PWFA
The PWFA mirrors the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and extends the same protections to pregnant workers. Like the ADA, the PWFA applies to employers with 15 or more employees on payroll. In brief, the PWFA requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees unless it imposes an undue hardship on the business. Additionally, covered employers may not:
- require an eligible employee to take paid or unpaid leave if there is another reasonable pregnancy accommodation available;
- retaliate, coerce, intimidate, or take any adverse employment action against an eligible employee who requests a pregnancy accommodation; or
- deny any employment opportunities to an eligible employee based on their need for pregnancy-related reasonable accommodations.
Specifically, the PWFA now removes a previous requirement that pregnant workers seeking reasonable accommodations must identify similar accommodations granted to similarly-situated employees.
The Updated Know Your Rights Poster
The updated Know Your Rights poster adds discrimination protections for pregnant workers to two sections of the poster. These poster updates reflect protections under the PWFA. Specifically, the new poster adds the following verbiage:
- failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition” under the challengeable discriminatory employment practices section;
- “conduct that coerces, intimidates, threatens, or interferes with someone exercising their rights regarding … pregnancy accommodation” under the challengeable discriminatory employment practices section; and
- “Interference, coercion, or threats related to exercising rights regarding … pregnancy accommodation” under the illegal employment discrimination section.
Personnel Concepts’ core team of researchers is working to send the updated posting to active subscribers. Active subscribers will receive the physical notice automatically as a panel update, along with the new Fair Labor Standards Act “Minimum Wage” poster. While employers should prepare to post the updated Know Your Rights poster shortly, the EEOC states that they should wait until June 27 to avoid confusion over effective dates. The EEOC also encourages employers to post a digital version of the poster electronically on their websites as a supplement to the required physical posting. Digitally posting the required notice ensures that remote and off-site employees have access to mandatory postings. Covered employers may be fined $659 per violation for not complying with posting requirements. The poster is available in both English and Spanish, while additional languages will become available at a later date.