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 York have already made this a requirement. Further, the EEOC has recently filed a number of pregnancy discrimination lawsuits and cracked down on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace in 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
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disabilities (ADA).
The New York City Human Rights Commission (Commission) has released a Pregnancy and Employment Rights Poster summarizing an employee's protections under the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The Policies and Documents Tool now includes information regarding the Commission's posting recommendations, as well as a link to the poster, which is available in a number of languages.
The New York City Human Rights Commission recommends that New York City employers post this notice, which explains employee rights under the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.
A unanimous New York City Council recently passed a bill known as the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which if enacted would require employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations unless doing so would cause the employer undue hardship.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Iowa employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to FMLA.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Hampshire employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a pregnancy discrimination case to go to trial because the employer offered multiple, inconsistent reasons for the employee's termination. The court's decision illustrates the importance of being mindful of the process of termination and ensuring that the reasons given for termination are accurate and consistent.
HR guidance on how to confront the legal challenges in managing an employee who is pregnant and preventing discrimination based on pregnancy.