Repent ye sinners! The apocalypse is nigh!
No, the world isn’t really ending. So, keep your shirts on. I’m talking to you, HR.
But, who would’ve guessed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Americans Civil Liberties Union would agree on anything? Yet, here we are. Yesterday, the Chamber and the ACLU and the National Women’s Law Center and A Better Balance and the National Partnership for Women & Families sent this letter to the Members of the Committee on Education and Labor to urge the Committee to approve an amendment to H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).
What does the PWFA look like now?
Currently, the PWFA contemplates that, absent undue hardship, an employer must reasonably accommodate known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a job applicant or employee. However, the PWFA doesn’t really describe how to get from point A to point B. It says that an employer cannot require a job applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that such applicant or employee chooses not to accept, if such accommodation is unnecessary to enable the applicant or employee to perform her job. So much legalese there. Sorry.
Additionally, an employer cannot require an 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 an employee.
The revised PWFA will change that.
According to the letter, “[t]he revised PWFA would provide clarity regarding an employer’s obligation to accommodate a pregnant employee, or applicant, with a known limitation that interferes with her ability to perform some essential functions of her position. The manager’s amendment takes advantage of the widely known and accepted interactive process associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that is used to find reasonable accommodations for employees covered by the ADA. It specifies that requiring the employee to take leave can only happen after the employer and employee have determined that no other accommodation is appropriate. The revised bill also carries forward the 15-or-more-employee threshold from the ADA.”
I’ll share a copy of the revised PWFA after the manager’s amendment is released.
In the meantime, I’m stocking up on munitions and supplies just in case. Fortunately, I had the Bloggerdome fortified in diamond-encrusted diamond at the start of the Winter.