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H.R. 2694: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 8, 2020 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 396

116th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 2694

[Report No. 116–494, Part I]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 14, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Katko, Mrs. McBath, Ms. Herrera Beutler, and Mr. Scott of Virginia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committees on House Administration, Oversight and Reform, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

September 8, 2020

Additional sponsors: Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Aguilar, Mrs. Beatty, Mr. Beyer, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Brownley of California, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Cartwright, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Cicilline, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Cohen, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Cox of California, Mr. Cummings, Mrs. Davis of California, Ms. Dean, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. DelBene, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Deutch, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Engel, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Foster, Ms. Frankel, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Garcia of Texas, Ms. Escobar, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Haaland, Mr. Harder of California, Mr. Hastings, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. Heck, Mr. Himes, Ms. Houlahan, Mr. Hurd of Texas, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Kaptur, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Lowenthal, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Lynch, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McGovern, Mr. McNerney, Ms. Meng, Ms. Moore, Mr. Morelle, Mr. Moulton, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Ms. Norton, Ms. Omar, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Perlmutter, Mr. Peters, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Raskin, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Richmond, Mr. Rouda, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Ryan, Ms. Sánchez, Ms. Scanlon, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Soto, Ms. Speier, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Takano, Ms. Titus, Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Tonko, Mrs. Torres of California, Mrs. Trahan, Mr. Trone, Ms. Underwood, Ms. Velázquez, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Welch, Ms. Wild, Mr. Yarmuth, Ms. Schrier, Ms. Pressley, Mrs. Lee of Nevada, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mr. Sires, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Craig, Mrs. Lawrence, Mr. García of Illinois, Ms. Hill of California, Mr. Keating, Mr. Rush, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Evans, Mr. Cárdenas, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Brown of Maryland, Ms. Stevens, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Khanna, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Huffman, Mr. Gomez, Mrs. Demings, Mrs. Luria, Mr. Neguse, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Ms. Adams, Mr. Sherman, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Shalala, Mr. Casten of Illinois, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Neal, Mr. Higgins of New York, Mr. Suozzi, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Bera, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Sablan, Mr. Castro of Texas, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Levin of California, Mr. Norcross, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Gonzalez of Texas, Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Jeffries, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Cisneros, Ms. Castor of Florida, Ms. Bass, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Horsford, Ms. Finkenauer, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Allred, Mr. Kind, Mr. Rose of New York, Ms. Wexton, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Costa, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Veasey, Mr. Luján, Mrs. Axne, Mr. Malinowski, Mr. Pappas, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Mr. Stanton, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Slotkin, Mr. Cunningham, Ms. Kendra S. Horn of Oklahoma, Mr. Panetta, Ms. Porter, Mrs. Fletcher, Ms. Stefanik, Ms. Blunt Rochester, Mr. Gottheimer, Mr. Ruiz, Ms. Waters, Mr. Clay, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Brindisi, Mr. Balderson, Mrs. Rodgers of Washington, Mrs. Brooks of Indiana, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, Mr. Walden, Mr. Visclosky, Mr. Payne, Mr. Upton, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Kim, Ms. Barragán, Mr. McEachin, Mr. Fortenberry, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Van Drew, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Mr. O'Halleran, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Golden, Mr. Crow, Mrs. Murphy of Florida, Mr. Cole, Mr. Vela, Ms. Johnson of Texas, Mr. San Nicolas, Ms. Torres Small of New Mexico, Mr. Correa, and Ms. Spanberger


September 8, 2020

Reported from the Committee on Education and Labor with an amendment

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

September 8, 2020

Committees on House Administration, Oversight and Reform, and the Judiciary discharged; committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on May 14, 2019


A BILL

To eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

2.

Nondiscrimination with regard to reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a covered entity to—

(1)

not make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a qualified employee, unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity;

(2)

require a qualified employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation other than any reasonable accommodation arrived at through the interactive process referred to in section 5(7);

(3)

deny employment opportunities to a qualified employee if such denial is based on the need of the covered entity to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a qualified employee;

(4)

require a qualified employee to take leave, whether paid or unpaid, if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a qualified employee; or

(5)

take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against a qualified employee on account of the employee requesting or using a reasonable accommodation to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of the employee.

3.

Remedies and enforcement

(a)

Employees Covered by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

(1)

In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in sections 705, 706, 707, 709, 710, and 711 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–4 et seq.) to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person alleging a violation of title VII of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this Act against an employee described in section 5(3)(A) except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)

Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person alleging such practice.

(3)

Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a), including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1977A, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person alleging such practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1977A(a)(1) of the Revised Statutes).

(b)

Employees Covered by Congressional Accountability Act of 1995

(1)

In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) to the Board (as defined in section 101 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1301)) or any person alleging a violation of section 201(a)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1311(a)(1)) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Board or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this Act against an employee described in section 5(3)(B), except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)

Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Board or any person alleging such practice.

(3)

Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a), including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1977A, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Board or any person alleging such practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1977A(a)(1) of the Revised Statutes).

(4)

Other applicable provisions

With respect to a claim alleging a practice described in paragraph (1), title III of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) shall apply in the same manner as such title applies with respect to a claim alleging a violation of section 201(a)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1311(a)(1)).

(c)

Employees covered by chapter 5 of title 3, United States Code

(1)

In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in chapter 5 of title 3, United States Code, to the President, the Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, or any person alleging a violation of section 411(a)(1) of such title shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the President, the Commission, the Board, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this Act against an employee described in section 5(3)(C), except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)

Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the President, the Commission, the Board, or any person alleging such practice.

(3)

Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a), including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1977A, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the President, the Commission, the Board, or any person alleging such practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1977A(a)(1) of the Revised Statutes).

(d)

Employees Covered by Government Employee Rights Act of 1991

(1)

In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in sections 302 and 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16b; 2000e–16c) to the Commission or any person alleging a violation of section 302(a)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16b(a)(1)) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this Act against an employee described in section 5(3)(D), except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)

Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission or any person alleging such practice.

(3)

Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a), including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1977A, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission or any person alleging such practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1977A(a)(1) of the Revised Statutes).

(e)

Employees Covered by section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

(1)

In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16) to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person alleging a violation of that section shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this Act against an employee described in section 5(3)(E), except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)

Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person alleging such practice.

(3)

Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a), including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1977A, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this Act provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person alleging such practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1977A(a)(1) of the Revised Statutes).

(f)

Prohibition Against Retaliation

(1)

In General

No person shall discriminate against any employee because such employee has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by this Act or because such employee made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Act.

(2)

Prohibition against coercion

It shall be unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of such individual having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of such individual having aided or encouraged any other individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this Act.

(3)

Remedy

The remedies and procedures otherwise provided for under this section shall be available to aggrieved individuals with respect to violations of this subsection.

(g)

Limitation

Notwithstanding subsections (a)(3), (b)(3), (c)(3), (d)(3), and (e)(3), if an unlawful employment practice involves the provision of a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this Act or regulations implementing this Act, damages may not be awarded under section 1977A of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981a) if the covered entity demonstrates good faith efforts, in consultation with the employee with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions who has informed the covered entity that accommodation is needed, to identify and make a reasonable accommodation that would provide such employee with an equally effective opportunity and would not cause an undue hardship on the operation of the covered entity.

4.

Rulemaking

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall issue regulations in an accessible format in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, to carry out this Act. Such regulations shall provide examples of reasonable accommodations addressing known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

5.

Definitions

As used in this Act—

(1)

the term Commission means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;

(2)

the term covered entity

(A)

has the meaning given the term respondent in section 701(n) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e(n)); and

(B)

includes—

(i)

an employer, which means a person engaged in industry affecting commerce who has 15 or more employees as defined in section 701(b) of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e(b));

(ii)

an employing office, as defined in section 101 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301) and section 411(c) of title 3, United States Code;

(iii)

an entity employing a State employee described in section 304(a) of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16c(a)); and

(iv)

an entity to which section 717(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16(a)) applies;

(3)

the term employee means—

(A)

an employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 701(f) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e(f));

(B)

a covered employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 101 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301);

(C)

a covered employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 411(c) of title 3, United States Code;

(D)

a State employee (including an applicant) described in section 304(a) of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16c(a)); or

(E)

an employee (including an applicant) to which section 717(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16(a)) applies;

(4)

the term person has the meaning given such term in section 701(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e(a));

(5)

the term known limitation means physical or mental condition related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions that the employee or employee’s representative has communicated to the employer whether or not such condition meets the definition of disability specified in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102);

(6)

the term qualified employee means an employee or applicant who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position, except that an employee or applicant shall be considered qualified if—

(A)

any inability to perform an essential function is for a temporary period;

(B)

the essential function could be performed in the near future; and

(C)

the inability to perform the essential function can be reasonably accommodated; and

(7)

the terms reasonable accommodation and undue hardship have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111) and shall be construed as such terms are construed under such Act and as set forth in the regulations required by this Act, including with regard to the interactive process that will typically be used to determine an appropriate reasonable accommodation.

6.

Waiver of State immunity

A State shall not be immune under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution from an action in a Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of this Act. In any action against a State for a violation of this Act, remedies (including remedies both at law and in equity) are available for such a violation to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation in an action against any public or private entity other than a State.

7.

Relationship to other laws

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to invalidate or limit the powers, remedies, and procedures under any Federal law or law of any State or political subdivision of any State or jurisdiction that provides greater or equal protection for individuals affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

8.

Severability

If any provision of this Act or the application of that provision to particular persons or circumstances is held invalid or found to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the application of that provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.

September 8, 2020

Reported from the Committee on Education and Labor with an amendment

September 8, 2020

Committees on House Administration, Oversight and Reform, and the Judiciary discharged; committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed