Every pregnancy discrimination case is unique and should be reviewed by an experienced employment lawyer. If you believe you have suffered from pregnancy discrimination, our attorneys want to hear from you.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a spike in pregnancy discrimination cases prompted the agency to update its guidelines for the first time in 30 years. Failure to provide accommodations, adjust work duties, or forcing a woman into leave could be construed as discrimination. The purpose of the agency’s update is to clarify the law for employers and to curb future instances of discrimination.
Employers as well as courts have interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 differently, and lower courts have not always agreed on employer requirements under federal law. According to the EEOC, the new guidelines are necessary to reshape employer policies to protect women as pregnancy discrimination continues nationwide.
The following are a few of the specific updates to the EEOC pregnancy discrimination guidelines:
- Employers may be required to provide pregnant women with reasonable accommodations, including light-work duty.
- Employers are prohibited from requiring pregnant women to take leave if they can continue to do their jobs.
- Pregnant women may also be covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, another law that may entitled a pregnant worker to reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
- Lactation is considered a pregnancy-related medical condition that is protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
- Mothers and fathers should have equal parental leave (leave for the purposes of bonding and/or providing care for a child). While leave for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions can be limited to women affected by those conditions, parental leave must be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms.
- The PDA covers not only current pregnancies, but extends to discrimination that may have occurred because of a past pregnancy, a potential or intended pregnancy, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
The EEOC is the agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. For more information about the updated EEOC guidelines, visit http://www.eeoc.gov.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act also offers protections to pregnant women throughout the state of Minnesota. In addition, there are protections afforded to employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act for leaves taken in connection with the birth or adoption of a child. Our website includes additional information about pregnancy discrimination as well as discrimination on the basis of caregiver/family responsibilities.
Every pregnancy discrimination case is unique and should be reviewed by an experienced employment lawyer. If you believe you have suffered from pregnancy discrimination, our attorneys want to hear from you. We will help you protect your rights. Call one of our employment attorneys at 612-252-3570 to learn more about pregnancy discrimination.