The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a pregnancy discrimination case. Separately, on July 14, 2014 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines on pregnancy discrimination including guidance on the issue that the Supreme Court agreed to hear.
The EEOC guidelines are found at the EEOC web page. EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Related Issues, http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_guidance.cfm These are the first new federal guidelines on pregnancy discrimination in more than 30 years, reports The Washington Post.
The pregnancy discrimination situation or issue before the U.S. Supreme Court is similar to the situation addressed in Part I of EEOC guidance.
The EEOC writes in pertinent part that: “Part I of this document provides guidance on Title VII’s prohibition against pregnancy discrimination. It describes the individuals to whom the PDA [Pregnancy Discrimination Act] applies, the ways in which violations of the PDA can be demonstrated, and the PDA’s requirement that pregnant employees be treated the same as employees who are not pregnant but who are similar in their ability or inability to work (with a particular emphasis on light duty and leave policies). Part II addresses the impact of the ADA’s expanded definition of “disability” on employees with pregnancy-related impairments, particularly when employees with pregnancy-related impairments would be entitled to reasonable accommodation, and describes some specific accommodations that may help pregnant workers. Part III briefly describes other requirements unrelated to the PDA and the ADA that affect pregnant workers. Part IV contains best practices for employers.
The Supreme Court issue is: “Whether, and in what circumstances, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k), requires an employer that provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations to provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” CVSG: 10/07/2013. (An example would be an employee with a short term disability). http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/young-v-united-pa.
The Supreme Court decision, and its consideration of EEOC guidelines, should be interesting regardless of its final decision.