Published July, 2014

Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2014)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal antidiscrimination laws protecting employees and job applicants alike. This legal guide provides an overview of pregnancy discrimination and related issues as covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other laws establishing requirements for the employers of pregnant workers. It is a robust supplement to the EEOC Fact Sheet for Small Businesses: Pregnancy Discrimination, available here.

In addition to explaining which situations regarding pregnancy and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth are covered by the PDA, the guide provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable employer actions to help explain proper legal application of PDA rights and benefits. The guide provides legal analysis for the two types of claims employers may face under the PDA: disparate treatment or discriminatory policies or actions, and disparate impact or facially neutral policies that significantly affect pregnant workers or workers affected by childbirth or related medical conditions.

The guide also outlines how certain provisions of the ADA may apply to pregnant workers or workers affected by childbirth or related medical conditions, providing examples of disability status, reasonable accommodations, and applicable exceptions. Finally, the guide outlines other laws that may similarly apply to workers protected by the PDA and the ADA, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Executive Order 13152 Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Status as Parent, Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and various state laws. Best practices are also included to encourage proactive employer efforts that meet legal mandates and surpass minimum non-discrimination requirements.