EEOC Issues New Guidelines Against Pregnancy Discrimination

EEOC Issues New Guidelines Against Pregnancy Discrimination

EEOCOn 7/14/14, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new and updated guidelines of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they apply to women with pregnancy related disabilities. These updated guidelines replace guidance last written in 1983. New guidance addresses interaction between PDA and ADA (previously amended in 2008).

Some of the biggest changes are as follows:

  • Interpretation of the PDA that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to those with work restrictions because of pregnancy, even if the employee does not qualify as disabled under the ADA.
  • Current SCOTUS case is addressing the issue of accommodation under the PDA. The case information may be found here as Young v. UPS

Our partner SHRM as provided the following four points of initial information on what is to be included in the updated guidance (more will surely follow):

  • Coverage under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act including current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, and how to interpret “persons similar in their ability or inability to work.”
  • Equal access to benefits including light duty, leave, health care, and various other benefits.  The EEOC included a statement that “Employers can violate Title VII by providing health insurance that excludes coverage of prescription contraceptives, whether the contraceptives are prescribed for birth control or for medical purposes.”  This provision may need to be clarified in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
  • Requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), reasonable break time for nursing mothers under the Affordable Care Act, and other requirements affecting pregnant employees.
  • EEOC’s recommended best practices for avoiding unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.

Understanding Employer’s Obligations Under PDA and ADA

We invite you to download the following 3 page Fact Sheet from the EEOC, as well as the 60 page EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.

Fact Sheet for Small Business: Pregnancy Discrimination EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

HR Compliance and Regulatory Help from FosterThomas HR Experts

Should you need assistance understanding and disseminating this information to your workforce, please contact a FosterThomas HR Compliance expert.

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