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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 11, 2017.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
This bill prohibits employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for job applicants or employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Specifically, the bill declares that it is an unlawful employment practice to: (1) fail to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations of such job applicants or employees, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an entity's business operation; (2) deny employment opportunities based on the need of the entity to make such reasonable accommodations; (3) require such job applicants or employees to accept an accommodation that they choose not to accept, if such accommodation is unnecessary to perform the job; (4) require such employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to their known limitations; or (5) take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against an employee requesting or using such reasonable accommodations.
The bill sets forth enforcement procedures and remedies under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, and the rights and protections extended to presidential offices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must provide examples of reasonable accommodations that shall be provided to affected job applicants or employees unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would impose an undue hardship.
The bill prohibits state immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution from an action for a violation of this bill.