Pregnancy Protection Heats Up

November 30th, 2012 by JBWK

Although pregnancy occupies an odd middle ground in employment discrimination, the EEOC is trying to ramp up protections for pregnant workers. Currently, employers are only required to treat pregnant workers the same as they treat other employees with temporary injuries, such as a broken leg. They have no obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy itself.

But the EEOC is starting to focus on several pregnancy-related issues: (1) making sure that pregnancy-related conditions, such as gestational diabetes, are deemed disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and (2) making sure employers treat pregnant employees the same as similarly situated non-pregnant employees when returning from short-term leave.

It’s important to note that the law has not changed, only that the EEOC will now be focusing on these issues more vigorously, so employers need to know the nuances.

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