HR Support on Pregnancy Discrimination At Work

Editor's Note: Make sure that pregnant employees receive fair and equal treatment.

Beth P. Zoller Overview: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII which protects pregnant individuals from applicant and employee discrimination. Further, some state and local laws similarly prohibit discrimination against employees and applicants who are pregnant. Pregnant individuals also may be protected under federal and state family and medical leave acts. In order to be protected based on pregnancy, the employer must know that the individual is pregnant. To avoid pregnancy discrimination, employers should develop a policy against discrimination and provide employees and supervisors with training so that pregnant employees receive fair and equal treatment. Further, an employer needs to understand that it is required to treat pregnant employees the same as other similarly situated non-pregnant employees.

Trends: Employers should be aware that legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees unless it would cause undue hardship for the employer. Some states such as New Jersey and Maryland as well as cities like New York City and Philadelphia have already made this a requirement. Further, the EEOC has recently filed a number of pregnancy discrimination lawsuits and is aggressively pursuing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace through its Strategic Enforcement Plan. It has labeled pregnancy discrimination as an emerging issue and it is working to combat pregnancy discrimination and ensure pregnancy accommodation. Employers should be alert and keep up with the rapid changes in this area of the law as it has become a hot topic in employment.

Author: Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Pregnancy Discrimination

  • Supreme Court Rules Against UPS in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

    Date:
    26 March 2015
    Type:
    News

    The Supreme Court has reinstated a former UPS driver's pregnancy discrimination case against the company, finding that she raised a genuine jury issue about whether the employer's policies imposed a significant burden on pregnant workers.

  • FMLA: Wisconsin

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Wisconsin employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: Pennsylvania

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Pennsylvania employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: Oklahoma

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Oklahoma employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: New Hampshire

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of New Hampshire employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: Missouri

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: Iowa

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Iowa employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to FMLA.

  • District of Columbia Pregnancy Accommodation Law in Effect: Handbook Policy Added, Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    05 March 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    District of Columbia employers must provide reasonable accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of their job is limited by pregnancy, childbirth, a related medical condition or breastfeeding, under a new law that took effect March 3.

  • FMLA: Texas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Texas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: North Dakota

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of North Dakota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

About this topic

HR guidance on how to confront the legal challenges in managing an employee who is pregnant and preventing discrimination based on pregnancy.