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EEOC Releases New Pregnancy Employment Guidance

Nancy Gray Oct. 29, 2018

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released new pregnancy employment guidelines, known as Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues. The document provides a summary of all major federal employment laws of the last few decades, including the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the context of pregnant workers.

This is the first official update from the EEOC in more than 30 years, and also includes a question and answer section for frequently asked questions, as well as specific guidance for small businesses. The document has taken on a controversial and political nature in regard to a redefinition of what it means to have a “disability,” including for otherwise healthy, pregnant workers, as well as statements about employers being required to cover birth control under the Affordable Care Act. (Note that this guidance is in conflict with the Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby decision).

While the document is not law, nor does it create any sort of legal precedence, it does represent the EEOC’s directives and current thinking on the treatment of pregnant workers, and is important for employers to understand how the EEOC might treat potential claims by pregnant workers. California employers are advised to read the document, and in particular, understand their rights and obligations to provide equal access to pregnant workers for health benefits, and accommodations for workers that are pregnant.

If you have questions about fair workplace practices and policies for pregnant workers, or you feel you have been discriminated against based on your status, you need a tough, smart employment attorney. Attorney Nancy Gray represents Los Angeles area businesses and individuals in all aspects of labor and employment law, including resolving hourly wage disputes, developing policies and best practices for human resources, and addressing potential labor and employment claims. Put a committed, knowledgeable labor and employment attorney to work for your business today. Call Attorney Gray at (310) 452-1211 or visit Gray & Associates online for a free consultation.