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What should Kentucky pregnant workers know about the PWFA?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Employment Law For Employees

Navigating pregnancy in the workplace can be daunting for Kentucky workers, which leads many to wonder about their rights and protections under the law. One such protection is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that introduced new safeguards for pregnant employees. It ensures pregnant employees receive necessary accommodations without facing discrimination or retaliation.

What does the PWFA entail?

The PWFA mandates covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. These accommodations aim to enable employees to perform essential job functions without imposing undue hardship on employers. Importantly, the PWFA supplements existing anti-discrimination laws and does not replace more protective federal, state or local regulations.

Who does the PWFA protect?

The PWFA shields employees and applicants of covered employers with known limitations linked to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Covered employers encompass entities with at least 15 employees in each of 20 calendar weeks during the current or preceding year, spanning private sector employers, state and local governments, federal agencies and judicial branches.

Understanding reasonable accommodations

Reasonable accommodations under the PWFA encompass alterations in the work environment or practices enabling employees to fulfill job duties without undue hardship on employers. For example, these accommodations can include, but are not limited to, adjusting break frequency or duration, modifying work schedules, permitting remote work or telecommuting, etc.

Requesting reasonable accommodations

To request accommodations, employees should inform employers about their needs without specific language or PWFA mention. Requests can be verbal or written, and representatives like family members, healthcare providers or lawyers can advocate on the employee’s behalf. Employers may request verification like medical documentation, but they cannot demand excessive information beyond determining necessary accommodations.

Assessing undue hardship

Undue hardship refers to actions posing significant difficulty or expense for employers, which allow them to deny reasonable accommodations. Factors influencing hardship determinations include accommodation nature, financial resources, business size and operational impact. Employers cannot reject accommodations due to cost or inconvenience alone but must prove substantial burden despite reasonable efforts.


Under the PWFA, pregnant workers in Kentucky have the right to reasonable accommodations without undue hardship. Pregnant workers also have the right to be free from discrimination or retaliation due to pregnancy, childbirth or accommodation requests, as well as file discrimination charges with the EEOC if PWFA rights are violated. Understanding these rights empowers Kentucky pregnant workers to advocate for fair treatment and accommodations in the workplace, ensuring their well-being and productivity amid pregnancy-related challenges.