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Jackson Lewis Hosts a Conversation with EEOC Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels

Nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce the firm hosted a conversation with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels live from its Chicago office on April 13. During the event, Samuels shared valuable insights on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the agency’s current agenda and enforcement priorities.

“It was an honor to host Vice Chair Samuels in our Chicago office and learn about her perspective on crucial issues currently impacting businesses,” said Office Managing Principal Nadine C. Abrahams. “Attendees had the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with the Vice Chair regarding the various laws and issues employers should consider when employees ask for reasonable accommodations at work. We thank her for sharing her wisdom and guidance with us.”

Principals Patricia Anderson Pryor and Katharine C. Weber moderated the conversation with Samuels, exploring the context and challenges of the expanding accommodations environment. Topics explored during the event included the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, employer responsibilities around pay equity, DEI and religious accommodations.

Samuels discussed recent updates on key topics, including the PWFA and how the PWFA was intended to fill in the gaps between the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. Samuels also provided advice surrounding what employers should be thinking about to get ready to comply with the PWFA that goes into effect on June 27, 2023. From a practical standpoint, Samuels sees the PWFA as a win-win for everyone.

“Many recognize that providing accommodation to people affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions is really valuable and productive for both workers and employers,” said Samuels. “Workers should not have to choose between getting a paycheck and maintaining a healthy pregnancy, and employers shouldn’t have to bear the burden of turnover, loss of accumulative knowledge if workers cannot stay on the job during the time they are carrying a baby or on leave postpartum.”

As employers continue to have questions regarding steps they should take to get ready to comply with the PWFA and how to handle the ever expanding range of employee requests for accommodations, Jackson Lewis offers clients practical and actionable insights and advice. Jackson Lewis’ Disability, Leave & Health Management group’s multidisciplinary approach to addressing the complexity and challenges of accommodating all employees’ requests for accommodation (sometimes at the same time) does more than help employers stay compliant — it helps them continue to build a workplace culture where all employees feel valued and respected, enhances their ability to reduce the risk of employment litigation, decreases the costs associated with absent employees by keeping them productively in the workplace or getting them back to work as soon as appropriate, and promotes employee health, safety and wellness.

To watch the conversation with Samuels recorded live from Jackson Lewis’ Chicago office, click here.

About Jackson Lewis                                                                        
Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.’s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee.

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