December 12, 2023
The Postal Service has issued a policy on providing pregnancy-related accommodations to employees.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires employers to accommodate pregnancy-related medical restrictions if an employee has a qualifying disability.
However, under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act — also known as the PWFA — employers must provide reasonable accommodations to known limitations of employees resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including lactation.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodations, regardless of whether the limitations result in a disability under the Rehabilitation Act, unless accommodations would impose an undue hardship.
Also, under the PWFA, employers such as the Postal Service must not:
• Require a job applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that was not arrived at through an interactive process.
• Require an employee with pregnancy, childbirth or related limitations to take leave under any leave law or policy if another reasonable accommodation can be provided that allows the employee to continue working.
• Deny job opportunities to an applicant or employee based on the need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
Employees who need guidance on responding to a request for pregnancy-related accommodations should contact their local reasonable accommodation committee, area employment law office or district labor relations or human resources office.
Employees may also contact the National Disability Program team, whose members are listed on Blue.
USPS will soon provide HERO-based training on reasonable accommodation fundamentals, including pregnancy accommodations.