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Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn’t cover child care woes

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Maternity Leave Laws

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects employees from discrimination based on pregnancy and related medical conditions. It doesn’t, however, let new mothers take off work when child care arrangements fall through.

Recent case:
Heather Seibert had an attendance problem for several years, which didn’t improve during her high-risk pregnancy. She used up her FMLA leave while pregnant and returned to work soon after having twins.

However, she was frequently absent due to problems arranging child care. Her employer fired her for excessive absences and she sued, alleging she had been discriminated against because of her pregnancy.

The court tossed out the case. It wrote that the PDA covers medical problems, not babysitting. (Seibert v. Lutron, No. 08-5139, ED PA, 2009)

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