For the first time since 1983, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated their guidance on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The new guidance document, along with an associated fact sheet and FAQ, incorporates the last thirty years of developments to legal protections based on an individual’s potential, current, or past pregnancy, as well as medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. The PDA identifies each of the following activities as unlawful employment practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

  • Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and,
  • Failure to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as others not so affected but having a similar ability or inability to work.

Courts applying the PDA have clarified that employers cannot treat pregnant employees differently from non-pregnant employees based on stereotypes and assumptions, including that a pregnant employee will have attendance problems, be otherwise unable to work, or will not return to work following the birth of her child.

For more information on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act or personnel matters in general, please contact the attorneys at Stitzel, Page & Fletcher, P.C.

To review the EEOC Guidance Documents: