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Guam labor agency gears up for enforcement of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Guam Department of Labor is finalizing the rules on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act or PWFA, which mandates employers' support for employees with maternal needs.

The law went into effect on Nov. 9, 2023, one year after it was signed into law.

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 deny employment opportunities to a qualified employee based on pregnancy or childbirth. A pregnant employee may not be forced to take leave, whether paid or unpaid, if another reasonable accommodation can be provided.

The law bars employers from taking adverse action against an employee requesting 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. 

GDOL encourages employers to work with their Human Resources Practitioners to prepare for enforcement of the PWFA.

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