Who understands the legal jargon issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pertaining to pregnancy, disability, equality, and diversity? Lawyers, that’s who! So here’s a little breakdown for the “normal” people who actually have to abide by these rules and regulations.
- When it comes to pregnancy disability leave, the EEOC has issued guidance twice in 2015. It all boils down to this, “If an employee has a pregnancy-related impairment that hinders her ability to perform a job, the employer must attempt to see if it can provide a reasonable accommodation that would allow the employee to continue to perform her job.”
- [tweetthis]Don’t take employment actions against a worker for any pregnancy-related reason.[/tweetthis] In fact, be very careful with any employment actions taken against a pregnant worker that is NOT taken against a peer employee to that pregnancy worker – protect yourself and be thorough and fair and make employment decisions across the board. Don’t open yourself up to potential lawsuits or discrimination claims!
- Don’t make excuses for your decisions based on “inconvenience” or “cost to the employer.” The EEOC has already made it clear these decisions won’t fly.
- Unless you can prove BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT that an employment action against a pregnant worker will cause an undue hardship (note the above bullet point – cost and inconvenience to the employer do not hold weight with the EEOC), don’t do it.
Essentially, the problem with the EEOC guidelines is that they are usually long-winded, wordy, and readers lose interest after the first ambiguous paragraph or two. By dumbing down the EEOC guidelines into reasonable, concise language, we hope to help our readers, clients, consultants, and business owners by allowing the puzzle work to be cut out, and the core of the message to be loud and clear. Not to mention the fact that the guidance attempts to combine regulations for two separate laws – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Americans with Disability Act (as if one or the other wasn’t confusing enough all on its own). We are here to help YOU, and no question is a “dumb” question in our book. Let us help you figure it out and teach you how to protect your business from unnecessary litigation, lawsuits, and EEOC claims.