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New EEOC Guidance To Avoid Pregnancy Discrimination | SMALL BUSINESS

Guidance

y Discrimination The Guidance includes some controversial interpretations and provisions, but, until construed by the courts, employers and their attorneys should understand its impact. reasonable and may be necessary for ADA-qualified pregnant woman, including modifying workplace policies to allow more frequent breaks, allowing a later arrival time for severe morning sickness (and a later departure time, to make up lost time), and allowing an employee on bed rest to telecommute. One of the most controversial portions of the Guidance is the position the EEOC takes regarding a pregnant employee’s request for a light-duty assignment. Currently, an employer who provides light-duty assignments for employees who have suffered on-the-job injuries must also provide light-duty assignments to pregnant employees under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This requirement may be short-lived, however, as the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Young v. United Parcel Services, Inc., scheduled to be heard on December 3rd, could nullify this point. For now, employers must be aware of their obligations to pregnant employees regarding light-duty work. The Guidance also reiterates the EEOC’s requirement that an employer

that provides its employees with the ability to take parental leave—to care or bond with the child as opposed to deal with pregnancy or child-birth related medical conditions—must provide the leave to similarly situated male and female workers. So employers are wise to provide new fathers with the same amount of paid leave that it does to new mothers. The Guidance includes several realworld scenarios so a careful employer is wise to check it before taking action related to a pregnant worker. The full information can be found at: http:// www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy_ Guidance.cfm Employers should also be aware of state and local laws regarding pregnancy discrimination. Recently, several states including West Virginia, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware and cities, from New York City and Philadelphia to as close to home as Providence and Central Falls, have adopted specific pregnancy discrimination laws. Rachelle Green, Partner, Duffy & Sweeney Francesco DeLuca, Associate, Duffy & Sweeney

www.risbj.com | volume three issue ten

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Profile for Rhode Island Small Business Journal

RISBJ Volume 3 Issue 10  

Volume 3 Issue 10 of RISBJ, Featuring the 2nd Annual Entrepreneurial Women to Watch Award Winners

RISBJ Volume 3 Issue 10  

Volume 3 Issue 10 of RISBJ, Featuring the 2nd Annual Entrepreneurial Women to Watch Award Winners

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