EEOC has some new pregnancy discrimination resources to feed your HR brain

Pregnant Woman

Head on over to the EEOC’s website (here) to check out:

For an expert like me – -an employment lawyer with four young kids — this stuff is like tying my shoes.

But for yooze, yinz, and the rest of yas, here are a couple of highlights from the new resources:

  1. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits more than just discrimination against pregnant individuals, a company cannot discrimination against individuals who: (a) were pregnant; (b) could or intend to become pregnant; (c) have a medical condition that is related to pregnancy; or (d) had an abortion, or are considering having an abortion.
  2. Pregnancy is not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, because it’s not a disability. But, you may have to accommodate pregnancy-related disabilities such as cervical insufficiency, anemia, sciatica, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or depression.
  3. Pregnancy is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If the employee is not FMLA-eligible, she may still be entitled to unpaid leave as an accommodation.
  4. Pregnant employees may be able to get an accommodation if the company accommodates employees who have similar limitations, but were not caused by pregnancy.
  5. Examples of accommodations for pregnant employees include, but are not limited to, permission to sit or stand, ergonomic office furniture, shift changes, elimination of marginal job functions, permission to work from home, and altered break and work schedules, for example breaks to rest or use the restroom.

Finally, within the second resource, which helps guide physicians in assisting their patients with requesting reasonable accommodations, there is a section entitled “How can I help my patient if she needs an accommodation for her current job, light duty, or leave because of her pregnancy?” Take a minute, review this section, and consider how you in HR can re-purpose this when requesting medical information to support an employee’s accommodation request. It will help facilitate the interactive process and help you arrive at a reasonable accommodation.


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