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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 14, 2021.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
This bill prohibits employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. A qualified employee is an employee or applicant who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position, with specified exceptions.
Specifically, the bill declares that it is an unlawful employment practice to
fail to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations of such employees unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an entity's business operation; require a qualified employee affected by such condition to accept an accommodation other than any reasonable accommodation arrived at through an interactive process; deny employment opportunities based on the need of the entity to make such reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee; require such employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided; or take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against a qualified employee requesting or using such reasonable accommodations. The bill sets forth enforcement procedures and remedies that cover different types of employees in relation to such unlawful employment practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must provide examples of reasonable accommodations that shall be provided to affected 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.