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Bloomberg Law Quotes Balch Partner Doug Kauffman on the Impact of New Workplace Laws on Employers

Doug Kauffman, partner in the firm’s Birmingham office and member of the Labor and Employment Practice, interviewed with Bloomberg Law about employment legislation passed by Congress in 2022, and the impact on employers.

The new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act), expand workplace protections for pregnant women and new mothers. They were both included in the omnibus spending bill, signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29.

Congress also passed a measure known as the Speak Out Act, prohibiting employers’ use of non-disclosure agreements with respect to those who allege sexual harassment.  

Doug told Bloomberg Law that employers should review the policies and training programs they have in place, to ensure they are in compliance with the new laws. He added that the impacts need to be thought of in geographical terms. 

“Employers, for example, in Alabama, may need to make more adjustments than perhaps employers that are in California,” Doug was quoted as saying.

Doug explained that employers are already beginning to update their handbooks to stay ahead of the curve on the new changes.

For example, for the PWFA and PUMP Act, Doug told Bloomberg Law that some companies may just need to make simple updates to their existing handbooks to broaden current policies for workers who need accommodations, and make the policies applicable to pregnant employees.

Bloomberg Law went on to quote Doug as saying employers are going to “take their policies and practices for accommodating disability and now apply it to pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to it.”

Doug helps employers manage their most valuable assets —their employees. For more than 20 years, he has counseled large and small employers, helping them stay up to date on the law, regulations, and best practices with respect to employment compliance. When issues arise in the workplace, Doug provides real-time solutions. He also handles complaints or audits by various government agencies, such as the EEOC, the Department of Labor, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he litigates all employment issues in court.