New Enforcement Guidance on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Stirs Controversy at the EEOC-Part 2

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

In my last post I provided background on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (“PDA”), and the PDA Enforcement Guidance recently issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  I also discussed the controversy that was created when two of the five EEOC Commissioners, Constance S. Barker and Victoria A. Lipnic, filed statements expressing their dissent from the Commission’s adoption of the new Guidance.  Their criticism seems especially accurate in light of the fact that the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case, Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., which – depending on the Court’s decision – may make the new Guidance moot.  And finally, I pointed out that, in the absence of such a decision, this EEOC Guidance clearly and dramatically expands the rights of employees under the PDA.

Employer Compliance Points

Setting aside the controversy, and the upcoming Supreme Court case, there are a few important points employers should take from the new Guidance: Continue reading

New Enforcement Guidance on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Stirs Controversy at the EEOC-Part 1

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

I hate to admit it, but there’s a little part of me that enjoys learning about internal conflict and disagreement at a regulatory agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). But, it’s not about the inevitable gossip or a desire to see even more dysfunction in the government.  It’s about ensuring the people in charge are engaged and not just mindlessly rubber stamping decisions on important issues – or at least standing up and making some noise when their peers are taking questionable actions.  The latest case in point, two EEOC Commissioners have issued harsh dissents on the Enforcement Guidance regarding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) released by the EEOC on July 14, 2014.

Background

The PDA was enacted in 1978, with the intention of making a clear statement that discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).

The new EEOC Guidance, the first update in 30 years, sets out the fundamental PDA requirements: Continue reading