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Showing 10 posts in Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

New Year Brings New Federal Protections for Pregnant and Nursing Employees

At the end of December, Congress passed two bills that alter employers’ obligations to pregnant and nursing employees, with new standards that will be going into effect in 2023. The first of these bills is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which provides employees who are experiencing conditions arising from pregnancy or childbirth with the right to reasonable accommodations. The second is the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act, also known as the PUMP Act. While there are already federal requirements in place for employers to provide postpartum employees with nursing facilities meeting certain standards, the PUMP Act expands the coverage of those requirements to more types of employees. More >

Pregnancy Discrimination Claims after Young v. UPS

It was a difficult delivery, but the Supreme Court in Young v. UPS[1] gave birth to a new test in determining whether an employer has violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”)[2]. More >


In our previous blog post, we discussed and detailed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the stringent Enforcement Guidelines distributed by the EEOC this summer. On December 3rd, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Young v. United Parcel Service, and decide whether the EEOC interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act correctly in deciding that an employer is “obligated to treat a pregnant employee temporarily unable to perform the functions of her job the same as it treats other employees similarly unable to perform their jobs, whether by providing modified tasks, alternative assignments, leave, or fringe benefits.” More >

Updated & Enhanced EEOC Enforcement Guidance – What Does it Mean for Employers and Pregnant Employees?

In 2013 alone, 5,342 discrimination claims were filed alleging pregnancy discrimination. The result – employers paid out over $17 million in monetary benefits last year. In fact, the EEOC’s statistics do not include monetary benefits obtained through litigation; thus, employers likely paid out a significant amount more than $17 million. To avoid adding to this figure, employers must pay particular attention to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, be mindful of what is required to comply with federal and state law, and take precautions to ensure that no discriminatory practices exist in the workplace. More >

US Supreme Court Will Review Important Case Affecting Pregnant Workers, Part II

On Monday, details about the case Young v. UPS were discussed. Young was a part-time UPS driver who, after becoming unable to lift heavy packages due to her pregnancy, was denied her request for light duty. She alleges that UPS violated the law by failing to provide her the same accommodations as it provided to nonpregnant employees with physical disabilities who were similar in their ability to work. After the District Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals both found for UPS, Young petitioned filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. UPS, however, responded to the petition with an argument that the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) could render the case moot.  The actions that led to the suit occurred in 2006 – before the amendments to the ADA were made. More >

US Supreme Court Will Review Important Case Affecting Pregnant Workers

The U.S. Supreme Court has just agreed to review Young v. UPS, a decision that will determine whether and to what extent an employer must provide pregnant employees with work accommodations, such as light duty, that are given to other workers with disabilities. More >

Employers Win In Recent 6th Circuit Pregnancy Wrongful Termination Claims

As has been addressed previously in this blog, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has placed an emphasis on pursuing complaints of pregnancy discrimination as announced in its Strategic Enforcement Plan (see the post here).  Recently the EEOC and the plaintiffs’ bar have filed cases at an increased rate against employers who have allegedly discriminated against pregnant women in the workplace.  It goes without saying that such suits can be costly to defend and to ultimately pay if they are successful. More >

EEOC’s Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

Earlier this week, we gave you an overview of the issues that, according to a recent draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”), the EEOC is likely to target in the coming years.  One of the emerging issues highlighted in that draft relates to pregnancy discrimination, specifically, situations which force women into unpaid pregnancy leave after being denied accommodations routinely provided to similarly situated employees.  In lock step with the EEOC’s express priorities, the following relevant cases have emerged over just the last few months: More >

Are Personal Emails Private in the Workplace?

Can companies monitor and read personal emails?  While this is no longer a novel question, companies continue to struggle with finding ways to protect their ability to access and monitor employees’ email activity.  A review of recent cases reminds us that while the answer is usually situational, the result almost always hinges on the strength and specificity of the company’s computer and email use policy. More >

Pregnancy Discrimination

In preparing for a recent mediation, I learned that that there has not been a verdict for a plaintiff presenting a pregnancy discrimination case in Kentucky for fifteen years.  That, however, does not mean that the cause of action is dead.  Employers should remain cognizant that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against female employees for “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions”. In fact, since the Hall v. Nalco Co. decision was rendered by the 7th Circuit in 2008, Courts have consistently interpreted “related medical conditions” to include pre-pregnancy procedures such as in vitro fertilization procedures. Protecting yourself from a discrimination claim in this context may present unique difficulties as an employers’ institutional knowledge of an employee’s medical condition may depend on the degree to which an employee feels comfortable disclosing the reason for her medical treatment to her supervisor.  Of course, employers who intend to take either an active or passive adverse employment action against a female employee must be prepared to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment action.  Employers should keep in mind that an adverse employment decision based upon a female’s medical condition, or absence from work due to an unspecified medical condition, could result in the first favorable verdict for a Plaintiff alleging pregnancy discrimination in recent memory.

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