new law is expanding protections for pregnant workers.

Today, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect, nearly six months after President Biden first signed it into law. There are already federal laws that protect employees from being fired or discriminated against because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. However, employers have not been legally required to provide accommodations — potentially putting workers’ pregnancies and safety at risk. Now, the PWFA requires any employer with at least 15 workers to provide “reasonable accommodations.”

Pregnant employees can ask their workplace for things like a closer parking spot, flexible working hours, and the ability to sit or drink water. Workers can also ask for time off to recover from childbirth. Employers will need to grant the requests, unless doing so creates a major expense or challenge on the business. Meanwhile, pregnant workers will also be able to file a claim with the federal gov, if their needs aren’t being met under the new law. One legal expert said the expanded protections will “improve the health and economic security of women.”

About 3 million women work while pregnant every year, according to one report. Now, they’ll have greater legal protections so they can do their jobs without risking their health.