What is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)?
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) enacted on July 27, 2023, requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.” This is not a new practice for UAMS.
Who is eligible for PWFA?
All active pregnant UAMS employees are eligible under PWFA.
How does my employee apply for PWFA?
Your employee should contact FMLASource to initiate the process. If the employee requires accommodations not related to time off, please contact Employee Relations to initiate the interactive process.
What are some possible accommodations under the PWFA?
Each case is determined on a case-by-case bases however below are some examples:
- time off to recover from childbirth
- ability to sit or drink water
- flexible or reduce schedule
- additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless they would cause an “undue hardship” on the employer’s operations. An “undue hardship” is significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
Does PWFA cover bonding with baby time?
No, PWFA does not cover bonding.
Is there a maximum number of hours an employee has available under PWFA?
The law requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations.”
Does the eligibility period start over every 12 months?
No, there is not an eligibility period for PWFA.
How long will a pregnant worker be approved off?
The standard approved time off for delivery is 6 weeks for vaginal and 8 weeks for C-section. FMLASource will review on a case-by-case basis if there is a medical necessity requiring additional time off.
What if my employee needs more time off than what is granted by FMLASource through PWFA?
FMLASource will issue a decision letter containing the approved and unapproved time. If an employee is unable to return to work at the end of an approved leave, contact Employee Relations to initiate the ADA interactive process.
Does a pregnant worker have to use paid leave while out on PWFA?
No, in the case of maternity, women may choose to go on unpaid leave of absence without exhausting their leave.
How does PWFA affect Short-term disability?
PWFA, like FMLA, does not impact an employee’s eligibility for short-term disability.
What if a pregnant worker has exhausted most of their FMLA entitlement, will PWFA cover the remaining time off for the employee?
For example: An employee uses 360 hours (9 weeks) of FMLA leave for a prior qualifying reason. This resulted in 120 hours (3 weeks) remaining for the 12-month eligibility period, for a total of 480 hours/12 weeks.
FMLA will be priority. Upon exhausting FMLA, PWFA should cover the remaining time off as medically necessary. FMLASource will communicate the various leaves approvals in the decision letter.
How do I place my worker on PWFA leave in Workday?
PWFA is considered a reasonable accommodation and would be processed in Workday the same as ADA.
Knowledge Base Article: How do I place my worker on a leave of absence?