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The Scope of the PWFA is Limited for Louisiana and Mississippi 

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’s (PWFA) final regulations went into effect in June 2024, requiring employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related limitations. For background, The PWFA, as intended, requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related limitations which include a broad range of reproductive-related conditions. However, a federal court in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction on a specific provision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance for the PWFA and has narrowed the scope of accommodations required in Louisiana and Mississippi. This provision addressed accommodations for elective abortions by exempting Louisiana and Mississippi from enforcement of the abortion-related provisions in these states. The court’s decision is limited only to this specific context and does not affect other requirements of providing reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related medical conditions. 

Next Steps 

Covered employers in all other states must still comply with the full scope of the PWFA and the EEOC’s regulatory guidance. This means providing reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related limitations. Regardless of geographic location, it is important to have a clear and well-drafted pregnancy accommodation policy that includes engaging in an interactive process with employees seeking accommodations to explore potential solutions. This policy should also outline the process for requesting and discussing accommodations and ensure compliance with the PWFA and any relevant state or local laws. 

Train managers and human resource personnel on the PWFA and how to handle pregnancy accommodation requests in a respectful and compliant manner. 

Employers who need guidance in situations where they believe an undue hardship exists should consult with their legal counsel before denying an accommodation request.  

More information about the PWFA and the EEOC’s final regulations, including resources for employers and workers, is available on the EEOC’s “What You Should Know about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” webpage.  

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.