The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued its first comprehensive update since 1983 on pregnancy discrimination enforcement guidance. The just-published "Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues" supersedes the 1983 publication of a Compliance Manual chapter on the subject and incorporates significant developments in the law during the past 30 years, according to the commission.

In addition to addressing the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, the guidance discusses the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended in 2008, to individuals who have pregnancy-related disabilities.

Among other issues the publication discusses are:

  • The fact that the PDA covers not only current pregnancy, but discrimination based on past pregnancy and a woman's potential to become pregnant;
  • Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition;
  • The circumstances under which employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers;
  • Issues related to leave for pregnancy and for medical conditions related to pregnancy;
  • The PDA's prohibition against requiring pregnant workers who are able to do their jobs to take leave;
  • The requirement that parental leave (which is distinct from medical leave associated with childbearing or recovering from childbirth) be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms;
  • When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related impairments under the ADA and the types of accommodations that may be necessary; and
  • Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.

Click here to access the guidance document online.