Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act – effective June 2024

May 15, 2024

The Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act was implemented by the federal government [1] and was introduced to address insufficient legal protections for employees under existing civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1978 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).  For information on Baylor’s PWFA policy, please click here BU-PP 415.  In this article, we will share some of the highlights you will need to know starting on June 18, 2024!

The PWFA requires Baylor University to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations of a qualified employee or job applicant related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical (including mental health) conditions, absent undue hardship. 

What you need to know about PWFA as a supervisor:


  1. Here are some common accommodation requests that you might receive, and they are protected under PWFA:
  • Additional breaks to drink water, eat, or use the restroom
  • A stool to sit on when the work is performed while standing, or areas to stand when the work is performed while seated
  • Time off for health care appointments
  • Temporary suspension or re-assignment of certain job duties
  • Remote work
  • Providing a reserved parking space if otherwise entitled to use employer-providing parking
  • Time off to recover from childbirth or miscarriage
  1. When any employee notifies you of their pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, we recommend that you express support for this significant life event and ask what they need, rather than making assumptions about their needs.  A suggestion might be to simply ask, “How can I help?”  An employee can notify you of an accommodation request in person, in writing, or electronically – any method qualifies as notification!  Contact your HR Consultant (even if the employee is not a direct report or works in a different department) to share the employee’s notification and any accommodation requests.
  2. Additionally, when any employee notifies you of episodic pregnancy-related conditions such as morning sickness; migraines; or lactation; we recommend that you express support for the employee and ask what they need, perhaps using the same suggested question above. If an accommodation request is shared, communicate that information with your HRC to begin an interactive process.
  3. Baylor (and you as a manager) should not ask for supporting documentation when an employee shares an accommodation request under PWFA.  This is a critical area of distinction between the PWFA and ADA.  In the case of PWFA accommodation requests, documentation may be deemed necessary in rare instances but allow HR to provide guidance if that occurs.
  4. If you believe that an employee’s accommodation request would impose an undue hardship on your department and its essential functions, please contact your HRC to discuss your concerns and navigate the interactive process with you. 


We can’t require an employee to accept an accommodation outside of an interactive process, deny employment opportunities, or require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided under PWFA.  If you are modifying an employee’s work schedule, responsibilities, or work location, be sure to keep your HRC involved before making those decisions and implementing them.

Baylor is committed to supporting employees’ rights under the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act, and supporting them through pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. HR is ready to provide support and guidance when you have an employee who qualifies for these protections.  Let us know how we can help you!


[1] PWFA 29 CFR chapter XIV part 1636, Appendix A