For the first time since 1983, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidelines to address pregnancy discrimination and other violations under the federal Pregnancy Disability Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to the EEOC’s guidance – “Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues” – both women and men have a right to be free from discrimination stemming from:

  • Unfair treatment involving a current pregnancy based on the circumstances of a prior pregnancy
  • A woman’s potential pregnancy
  • Lactation as a pregnancy-related medical condition
  • Circumstances whereby an employer may have to provide light duty work for pregnant workers
  • Medical leave for pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy
  • Parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), distinct from pregnancy related medical leave
  • The PDA’s prohibition against employers requiring pregnant workers to take leave if they are able to perform their jobs
  • Extension of parental leave to similarly situated men and women
  • Reasonable accommodation under the ADA for employees with pregnancy-related impairments

To help employers comply with PDA and ADA requirements, the EEOC issued a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses that offers best practices to lessen the threat of pregnancy discrimination claims. These common sense recommendations include:

  • Developing and enforcing clear policies that address the types of conduct that constitute unlawful discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions
  • Providing multiple avenues of complaint
  • Regular training for managers and employees regarding their rights and responsibilities
  • Conducting employee surveys
  • Reviewing and revising employment policies and practices that may disadvantage pregnant workers
  • Protecting employees from retaliation if they report a discrimination

If you are an employee or an employer facing a pregnancy-related discrimination issue, we would be happy to discuss your situation.

Tad T. Roumayah

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Tad T. Roumayah

Tad Roumayah focuses his practice primarily on employment litigation, representing employees who have encountered discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, whistleblower protection claims, wage and hour violations and other employment issues and disputes.