A Milestone Anniversary (article)
On the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes an opportunity to remind employers of the importance to comply with the law. As a reminder, the PDA is intended to ensure that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions be treated in the same manner as other applicants and employees on the basis of their ability, or inability to work. In addition, benefit plans, including health and disability plans, must provide for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions in the same manner as those provided for any other sickness or injury. The PDA applies to public sector employers, and private sector employers engaged in a business or industry affecting interstate commerce, who employ 15 or more employees on each working day in at least 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. The law does not apply to the federal government, Indian tribes, or a department or agency of the District of Columbia.
During these past 40 years, there has been much litigation surrounding compliance with this law. In addition, several other laws have been enacted that have bearing on the PDA including, by way of example, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Affordable Care Act. Further, some states and local jurisdictions have pregnancy protection laws that are more generous than the federal law. Thus, continued compliance with all laws is of upmost importance. It is always a good idea to periodically review policies and procedures, as well as practices, to ensure compliance with the law. Information and guidance about the PDA is available on the EEOC’s website (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm).
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