Wisconsin employees may be affected by new legislation designed to protect pregnant women from job discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated 30-year-old doctrines to clearly articulate that any form of discrimination against pregnant women at the workplace is to be considered illegal and constitutes sexual discrimination. The chairwoman for the EEOC says that the agency continues to receive an alarming amount of claims alleging overt or subtle discrimination against pregnant employees.
The new standards set forth by the EEOC prevent employers from requiring employees to take leave from work, stating that they are obligated to provide pregnant workers with light duty instead. In addition, lactation will now be considered as a medical condition related to the pregnancy. Men may now receive paternal leave as well. These changes were implemented less than a month following the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case concerning the EEOC's duty to attempt to settle workplace discrimination charges before filing a claim against the employer in court.
The newly updated guidelines for pregnancy discrimination now articulate how this group of employees is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Workers who feel they have been victim of employee discrimination due to pregnancy may benefit from contacting legal counsel as soon as possible. The recent changes implemented by the EEOC may make it easier for employees to seek restitution if pregnancy discrimination does occur at the workplace.
Source: WXOW, "Agency toughens protections for pregnant workers", Tom Raum, July 15, 2014