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On July 14, an updated document titled, Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, was released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Littler Mendelson, P.C., has issued an analysis, which includes some important compliance steps employers should take. 

The Enforcement Guidance, updated for the first time since 1983, discusses the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008.

The following documents are available from the EEOC to provide employers the information they need to know: 

According to the EEOC’s press release, the Enforcement Guidance covers the following issues:
  • The fact that the PDA covers not only current pregnancy, but discrimination based on past pregnancy and a woman's potential to become pregnant;
  • Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition;
  • The circumstances under which employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers;
  • Issues related to leave for pregnancy and for medical conditions related to pregnancy;
  • The PDA's prohibition against requiring pregnant workers who are able to do their jobs to take leave;
  • The requirement that parental leave (which is distinct from medical leave associated with childbearing or recovering from childbirth) be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms;
  • When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related impairments under the ADA and the types of accommodations that may be necessary; and
  • Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.