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EEOC Issues Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

July 16, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday released guidance on the subject of discrimination against pregnant workers – the first guidance of its kind in more than 30 years.

“Pregnancy is not a justification for excluding women from jobs that they are qualified to perform, and it cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than co-workers similar in their ability or inability to work,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien in a press statement.

The EEOC issued guidance in 1983 after passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which was an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now, among other issues, the new guidance – which supersedes what was released in 1983 – says that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act applies to discrimination based on past and potential pregnancies, not just current pregnancies,.

After the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 expanded the original Americans with Disabilities Act to include disabilities that are “episodic,” Monday’s guidance also clarifies that impairments related to pregnancy are covered by that expansion.

For more information, please reference the EEOC’s website here.

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