January 9, 2024
GDOL Preparing for Enforcement of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) would like to remind employers that Public Law 36-118, also known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), was signed into law on November 9, 2022 and became effective one year later on November 9, 2023. GDOL is preparing for enforcement of the law once the PWFA completes the Administrative Adjudication Act rule-making process.
The PWFA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy and childbirth for an employee, unless an employer can demonstrate that accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the operations of the business.
Under the PWFA, employers are not allowed to force affected employees to accept accommodations other than those that are reasonable; deny employment opportunities related to the pregnancy or childbirth of a qualified employee; require an employee to take leave, whether paid or unpaid, if another reasonable accommodation can be provided, relative to the pregnancy or childbirth of an employee; or take adverse action against an employee requesting or using reasonable accommodation related to their pregnancy or childbirth.
Proposed fines for violations of the PWFA include $1,000 for the first offense, and no less than $1,000 but no more than $2,000 for subsequent offenses.
While the law became effective in November 2023, the administrative rules are still being finalized.
GDOL encourages employers to work with their Human Resources Practitioners to prepare for enforcement of the PWFA. The proposed rules for the PWFA can be viewed on dol.guam.gov.
For more information or additional guidance, you may also contact the Fair Employment Practice Division at GDOL at 671-300-4544.