EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines (article)
Last summer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released enforcement guidance, together with FAQs and Fact Sheet, relating to pregnancy discrimination (see The Pregnancy Discrimination Act gets some TLC if not a full Makeover (CBIZ Benefit Beat, 8/20/2014). As a result of the recent court case in Young v. United Parcel Service, (see The Intersection of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Employer’s Workplace Policy, CBIZ Benefit Beat, 5/12/15), the EEOC has released updated guidance to address some of the Supreme Court’s recommendations for determining whether a workplace policy is discriminatory against pregnant workers.
Specifically, the revised guidance addresses disparate treatment and light duty. In a nutshell, the EEOC guidance indicates that even though an employer policy is not intended to discriminate against pregnant workers, it may nevertheless violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, if such policy appears to impose significant burdens on pregnant workers without a strong business justification for the policy. Accordingly, if an employer’s work place policy provides for light duty accommodations, including lifting restrictions, it should ensure that the offer of light duty accommodation be made available to all members of the employer’s workforce.
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