EECO Issues Employer Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Guide

The EEOC has just released its Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, adopting new and substantive changes to the way federal law impacts workplace treatment of pregnancy.

The guidance is divided into four sections:

  1. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – The PDA requires accommodations for pregnant women, regardless of the severity of their pregnancy-related work limitations, if the types of accommodations are provided to other employees with similar abilities or inabilities to work.
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The ADA requires accommodation of pregnancy-related disabilities, even when the condition is common to a healthy pregnancy.
  3. Other requirements affecting pregnant workers under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Executive Order 13152 prohibiting discrimination based on parental status, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and state law.
  4. Best practices that employers may adopt to reduce the chance of pregnancy-related PDA and ADA violations and to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity.

The guide provides examples and how to approach various issues and situations at work. Also covered are tools and considerations in determining coverage, evaluating employment decisions and understanding exceptions under the law.

Employers should use this guide review their anti-discrimination, benefits, leave of absence, light duty, and accommodation policies to make sure they are compliant with the law. Managers and employees should also be trained on pregnancy-related rights and responsibilities, and specifically on the duty to accommodate.

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