Monthly HR Update - July 2023

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
A new federal pregnancy law went into effect on June 27. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) requires that employers with 15 or more employees provide “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant workers from pregnancy through the postpartum period unless such accommodations would lead to an “undue hardship” on the part of the employer. 
The PWFA is a federal law. Some 31 states, including Illinois, have some type of pregnancy protection legislation already in place, which may provide greater protections than this new federal law. The EEOC and the DOL have released revised posters to include information about the protections under the law. There is no specific deadline to display the new posters, but the agencies advise employers to remove the old ones and display the new ones within a reasonable amount of time.
Supreme Court Set Higher Standard for Employers to Deny Religious Accommodations
The Supreme Court on June 29 rejected the long-standing interpretation of Title VII that an employer may deny a religious accommodation when the request would impose more than a de minimis burden on the employer’s business.
The Supreme Court disagreed with lower courts interpretations and held that this “de minimis” standard isn’t enough to show undue hardship. Based on the court’s decision, employers should reevaluate their process when engaging in an employee’s religious accommodation request. In order to justify a denial of accommodation, it must result in substantially increased costs to the employer’s business.
EEOC Postpones Deadline for 2022 EEO-1 Reports
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has postponed the deadline for employers to file their 2022 EEO-1 reports, which list workforce demographic data, including race and sex. 
Private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees must submit annual EEO-1 reports through the EEOC’s online filing system. 
After previously setting a tentative time frame of mid-July for data collection, the agency said it would open data reporting in fall 2023. Future updates related to 2022 data collection will be posted to the agency website.