By: Claudia D. Orr
On June 25, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued new enforcement guidance concerning pregnancy discrimination and related issues. The updates to the sections on disparate treatment and light duty were necessary to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. United Parcel Services, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 1338 (2015). All of the remaining sections of the EEOC’s guidance are unchanged. To review the EEOC’s new guidance, click here: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_guidance.cfm
For information concerning the Supreme Court’s decision, please see my previous article “Supreme Court Revives Claim by Pregnant Worker that UPS Discriminated When it Failed to Provide Light Duty” posted on Detroit SHRM’s website on March 25, 2015. http://www.mishrmblog.org/2015/03/supreme-court-revives-claim-by-pregnant-worker-that-ups-discriminated-when-it-failed-to-provide-light-duty/
In short, employers that provide light duty to other, non-pregnant workers having medical restrictions (for example, those who have work related injuries) generally should be providing light duty to accommodate the restrictions of pregnant workers. This has been the rule under Michigan law since the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was amended in 2009.
If you need assistance in determining your obligations to a pregnant employee, or assistance in developing a manageable light duty program, contact the author or another experienced employment attorney.
This article was written by Claudia D. Orr, who is Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of Detroit SHRM, and an attorney at the Detroit office of the law firm Plunkett Cooney (a full service law firm and resource partner of Detroit SHRM). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (313) 983-4863.
Detroit SHRM encourages members to share these articles with others, inside and outside their organization, as long as its name and logo, and the author’s information, is included in the re-post of the article. July 2015.