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Employment Law in California

New Legislation Sets Workplace Guidelines Regarding Discrimination Against Pregnant Employees

Katrina.PregnancyPicOn July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) revealed new federal legislation regarding discrimination in the workplace against pregnant employees.

The broadened regulation newly specifies just how the Americans with Disabilities Act should be applied to pregnant workers, in particular delineating how any type of discrimination or harassment of pregnant employees by their employers is a type of sex discrimination. It also goes on to clarify that discrimination against women in the workplace based on their past or potential future pregnancy is also an actionable form of discrimination.

Additionally, the rules stipulate that employers may not order pregnant employees to take leave and that “employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers.”

The new regulations do not apply solely to women. The guidelines make clear that, in regards to parental leave, “similarly situated” men and women must receive the same treatment.

The last updates to these regulations were made in 1983. However, EEOC data reveals a 46 percent upwards trend in pregnancy discrimination grievances from the years of 1997 to 2011.


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