If you've only semiunderstood the(PDA) until now, it's time to brush up. Reason: The 24-year-old law is spawning its greatest number of claims yet. (See chart below.)
That trend will likely continue. Reason: Census Bureau data show that a greater number of women are working while they're pregnant and opting to return within six months or less after giving birth.
That's why it's wise to review your policies and practices that pertain to the PDA and related state laws.
Latest example: In late February, Verizon settled a major pregnancy bias class-action lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Oppor-tunity Commission (EEOC). The company will have to pay thousands of current and former employees for bias related to pregnancy or. Final tab: In the millions of dollars, making it one of the largest EEOC settlements involving pregnancy- related bias.
Brush up on PDA facts
Any employer subject to Title VII (15 or more employees) must comply with the PDA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. A woman can't be denied a job or a promotion because she's pregnant or has had an abortion. Also, she can't be fired because of her condition, nor can she be forced to go on leave as long as she's physically capable of performing her job.
The law doesn't require your company to grant. But it does require employers to grant the same coverage for pregnancy-related conditions as they would for other illnesses or disabilities.
The benefits must continue as long as the pregnant employee is medically unable to work, unless you have established limitations on how long you cover all other temporary disabilities. In that case, you can treat the pregnancy as you do any other temporary disability.
And women who take maternity leave must be reinstated under the same conditions as employees returning from disability leave. (See box below.)
In short, the law requires that pregnant employees be treated the same as other employees on the basis of their ability or inability to work.
One plus: You can require a pregnant employee to use her vacation benefits before she can collect sick leave or disability pay, as long as you have the same requirement for employees absent for other types of disabilities or illnesses.
TheAct (FMLA) can be used as pregnancy or parental leave in certain situations. Among the rules that apply:
- Pregnant employees are entitled to use if complications from their pregnancy constitute a serious health condition. As a practical matter, if a woman's doctor determines that a period of leave is medically necessary, for instance, she can use FMLA leave.
- New parents can use FMLA leave as parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child, or the placement of a foster child, at any time during the first year after the new child arrives.
Finally, to avoid even the appearance of discrimination by offering a benefit that only women use, offer parental leave rather than maternity leave. If you offer any time off for a parent to spend with a newborn child, make it available to both fathers and mothers.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/759/pregnancy-bias-new-census-trends-heighten-your-risk "
- Can a former employee demand that we pay her for unused vacation and sick leave?
- Don't force FMLA leave unless health condition is serious
- How should our attendance policy address absences and lateness covered by the FMLA?
- How to comply with N.J.'s sweeping Whistle-Blower protection law
- Don't raise performance bar solely on workers taking FMLA