Is an employer required to accommodate a pregnant employee?

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

It depends. If a pregnant employee's pregnancy renders her disabled, the employer may be required to accommodate the employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state and local laws. If an employee is experiencing a normal pregnancy, though, there is no affirmative duty under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act to provide accommodations to the pregnant employee. However, a growing number of states and municipalities are enacting legislation that specifically requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant employee if a pregnancy-related condition impacts the employee's ability to work and the employee requests an accommodation.