By Eric B. Meyer
An employee-plaintiff who claims that she was discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to her pregnancy alone, will lost her ADA claim 10 times out of 10. This is because pregnancy is not a disability under the ADA.
But what if that same employee plaintiff with an ADA claim alleges that the discrimination relates not to her pregnancy, but rather to her morning sickness?
Hmmm…. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Last week, I wrote about last news of a bill pending in New Jersey, requiring employers to make available reasonable accommodation for pregnancy-related needs when requested by the employee with the advice of her physician.
This week I read this article in The Legal Intelligencer about this potential amendment to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance, which too would require employers to make reasonable workplace accommodations for employees who have needs related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
What, you may ask, do the bill’s sponsors have in mind for reasonable accommodation? Here’s what is in the bill: Read more…
Employer health plans routinely cover pregnancy costs for workers and their spouses—but not necessarily daughters. According to a handful of new complaints filed with the federal government, that’s sex discrimination, and the Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow it.
If these complaints are successful, they could expand the benefits that health plans must cover under the Affordable Care Act.
The National Women’s Law Center is alleging that five institutions are discriminating against women by excluding pregnancy coverage from the health insurance benefits that they provide to their employees’ dependent children. Read more…
Although most observers are praising CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo’s upgraded maternity leave policy that gives 16 weeks of paid leaves to new Moms and 8 weeks to new Dads, here’s another perspective: although it’s good, it’s not the most generous among Silicon Valley companies.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
The new policy will allow mothers to take up to four months of paid leave. Parents who adopt will be able to take eight weeks off from work.
Yahoo will also give new parents $500 to spend on baby items and related services. New pets will also get some freebies, Yahoo said. Employees can get Yahoo-branded gifts for their cats and dogs.” Read more…
I have to stand up and applaud Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg today.
No, not for leaning in, but for finally saying what every HR and Operations person in history has always thought, but every lawyer who works for our organizations would never allow us to do: Ask a simple question that has huge aspects to how we run our businesses.
“So, what’s the deal? Are you knocked up, or what? What’s the plan?” This is not discriminatory. It’s not biased. It’s a reality of our workforce. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Does an employer have to provide a reasonable accommodation to a pregnant employee to allow her to perform the essential functions her job?
Americans with Disabilities Act? No. Pregnancy is not a disability. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? Well that depends. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is part of Title VII. But the current state of law is such that employers need only treat pregnant employees as they would other employees with temporary disabilities. However, most employers do afford accommodations (e.g., light duty) to employees with temporary disabilities. So, they would have to do the same for pregnant employees too.
But do I smell some duplicative federal legislation here? Read more…
In a 2008 interview with the Ladies Home Journal, Barack Obama stated that, “The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women.”
If that’s true, then it’s time to think seriously about how HR departments and corporate hiring managers treat pregnant women in the workplace.
Even though it’s 2012, pregnant women are still fighting an uphill battle against employers for their right to work. They’re being put on unpaid leave, they’re getting demoted and, far too often, they’re getting fired. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination cases have risen by 35 percent over the past decade. In fact, it’s the cause of one in five discrimination complaints by women. Read more…
The health care overhaul provides a safety net for young adult children, who can now stay on their parents’ health plans until they reach age 26. But it doesn’t guarantee that their parents’ plan will cover a common medical condition that many young women face: pregnancy.
Group health plans with 15 or more workers are required to provide maternity benefits for employees and their spouses under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. But other dependents of employees aren’t covered by the law, so companies don’t have to provide maternity coverage for them.
Although hard numbers aren’t available on how many companies don’t provide dependent maternity benefits, “I would say it’s common,” says Dania Palanker, a senior health policy adviser at the National Women’s Law Center. And the number could grow with the recent expansion of coverage to children under age 26, she says. Read more…
Well, now there’s a twist on the Yahoo-poaching-from-Google story: Marissa Mayer is having a baby.
Kudos to Yahoo for hiring a pregnant woman to do the CEO job. It does raise a few questions in my mind however, including:
- Bringing a baby to the office? According to one writer on CBS Money Watch, “You can bring a baby to an office, and you can bring work home. There is no conflict.” That sounds good, but it’s news to me. Many employers don’t want babies in and out of the office. If Mayer can bring hers – which again, I’m all for – will other employees be able to, too? Read more…
I overheard on the radio about this Australian company who is rewarding returning mothers to their workforce by paying them double their salary when they return to work, for the first six weeks.
My first impression was – “Oh hell no; don’t let any of my female employees find out about this!”
For those who don’t know, I run a very young company – not young on experience, but young on the average age of employee. It comes with the territory; most third party recruiting companies have a fairly young workforce — get new recruiters right out of college, train and grow them into your culture, make them part of the “family.” Read more…