HR Management & Compliance

New EEOC Pregnancy Guidance and What the States Are Doing

By Susan Schoenfeld, JD

In March 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Young v. UPS prompted some changes in how the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) will be applied and interpreted by the EEOC.

In its decision in the Young case, the Supreme Court roundly criticized the EEOC’s 2014 PDA guidance, saying it “lacked consistency,” and “thoroughness of consideration,” pointing out that the guidance ran “contrary to the litigation position the Government previously took,” that the EEOC offered no coherent reading of the statute.

About 3 months after the EEOC received this blistering criticism of its guidance from the Supreme Court, in June 2015, the agency issued a new guidance document entitled “EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.”

In addition to the recent Supreme Court case and the 2015 EEOC guidance, a number of states and cities have been imposing new, additional compliance requirements on employers in order to further protect pregnant employees.

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