The Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act (NPWFA) goes into effect Sunday, October 1, 2017. The NPWFA applies to employers with 15 or more employees and generally expands the scope of protections provided to female employees for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (protected conditions). The Act makes it an "unlawful employment practice":

  • for an employer to refuse to provide a reasonable accommodation to a female employee or applicant for a protected condition; and

  • to take adverse action against, or deny an employment opportunity to, an otherwise qualified female employee or applicant due to a request for, or use of, a reasonable accommodation.

Like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the NPWFA requires the employer and employee to engage in a "good faith and interactive process" to determine an effective and reasonable accommodation. This process is triggered when a female employee or applicant "requests an accommodation" for a protected condition. The employer is permitted to require a statement from the employee's physician concerning the specific accommodation recommended.

An employer may not require a female employee or applicant affected by a protected condition to accept an accommodation if she has not sought one or chooses not to accept one. And, the employer is not required to create a new position or discharge or transfer any employee with more seniority unless the employer has or would take similar action to accommodate other classes of employees.

Employers are also prohibited from requiring female employees affected by a protected condition to leave employment if there is a reasonable accommodation that would allow the employee to continue to work—although leave can be a reasonable accommodation if the employer and affected employee agree.

Finally, employers subject to the Act are required to provide two distinct written or electronic notices to inform:

  • employees that they have the right to be free from discriminatory or unlawful employment practices pursuant to the NRS 613.335 and Sections 2-8 of the Act; and

  • female employees that they have the right to a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.

The employer is required to post notice of these rights in a conspicuous place at its place of business and in an area accessible to employees.

The first notice must be provided to new employees upon beginning employment. The employer must provide the second notice within 10 days after the employee notifies her immediate supervisor that she is pregnant.

Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group routinely assists employers in all aspects of employer/employee relations, including revisions to legislation.

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