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Complying with Final Pregnancy and Postpartum Accommodation Rules

Pregnancy Law

New pregnancy accommodation rules are here, and require big changes.

Employers have brand-new legal obligations to reasonably accommodate workers expanding their families or experiencing pregnancy-related challenges. The EEOC just announced expansive final regulations that require leave for everything pregnancy-related. Think infertility, stillbirth, abortion, menstruation, and maybe menopause leave. Plus, there’s a requirement that your pregnant employees be provided with reasonable accommodations that allow them to continue working up to giving birth, possibly without having to perform their job’s essential functions.

You also have to empower first-level supervisors to make almost instant accommodation decisions without so much as a doctor’s note. These reasonable accommodations range from late arrival and early departure due to morning sickness to unpaid leave after giving birth, even if no paid leave is available or the employee isn’t eligible for unpaid FMLA leave. If a reasonable accommodation is available, you can’t choose to send the employee home on unpaid leave if she wants to work.

In addition, you must reasonably accommodate postpartum conditions and complications until the new parent is ready to resume work. That’s true even if she’s out of FMLA leave or not entitled to it. For example, an employee who has complications from a cesarean section may have to be allowed more time off. Think of it as a new form of maternity leave.

When she does return, you’re also required to provide a facility where, for up to a year after birth, she can safely and privately express milk for her infant as often as she needs to. And if she’s located close enough to the infant, the new rules say she can use break time to actually feed the infant instead. That means unlimited breaks during the workday are now a federal requirement — with some specific provisions for when that time must be paid.

What’s more, you have only 10 days after a request for a milk-expression breakroom to provide one. On day 11, the employee can file a federal lawsuit. The litigation has already started with a class action for allegedly forcing new mothers to express in a breakroom or the back of a truck.

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Webinar Agenda

  • Pregnancy, missed work, and attendance: When can you discipline for missed work during pregnancy and when you absolutely cannot.
  • Why forcing a pregnant worker to take leave isn’t a reasonable accommodation under the new PWFA if she could feasibly continue working without having to perform her job’s essential functions.
  • The 4 accommodations the EEOC says you can’t question — no doc notes, no forms, no delay.
  • Eliminating essential functions entirely may be a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy.
  • Whether and when you have to provide time off for fertility treatments, abortion care, stillbirth, or miscarriage recovery, and even menstruation and menopause leave.
  • We now know that the EEOC views post-birth recovery time as a reasonable accommodation. Find out exactly how to structure this new, de facto maternity leave.
  • Easy-to-implement, practical accommodations that won’t unduly disrupt the workplace while complying with the new law.
  • How the FMLA interacts with the PWFA and the PUMP Act to create an entirely new entitlement program.
  • How to set up a PUMP Act-compliant breakroom or area, and what to include based on your industry.
  • What sort of accommodations you are required to make for common pregnancy-related problems like morning sickness, lifting restrictions, and bed-rest orders.
  • A single comprehensive policy for reasonable accommodations.

In this 90-minute workshop, you’ll will learn:

  • How to accommodate pregnant and postpartum workers.
  • How to arrange for (unlimited) workplace milk-expression breaks.
  • What you MUST do to quickly comply with new legislation.

Get answers to YOUR questions from presenter…

Anniken Davenport

Anniken Davenport, a noted employment law attorney and the editor of HR Specialist: Employment Law. She has authored several books, including Bullet-Proof Your Employee Handbook and Overtime & Other Tricky Pay Issues. She is also co-author of the upcoming Labor & Employment Law for the 21st Century, by Prentice Hall. Anniken has served as a professor at Penn State University, where she taught business law and HR management, and she directed the Legal Studies Program at Wilson College. Her legal career includes representing government units in discrimination and other employment law cases and representing school districts in labor negotiations.

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Registration bonuses included:

Common ADA Requests

Everyone who signs up will receive our new white paper, Answers to 11 Common ADA Accommodation Requests. Accommodations are an important part of any employer’s job and not meeting legal requirements for a request may result in serious consequences. It’s crucial to have a firm understanding of what’s expected from HR and leadership when any accommodation request is filed.

The HR Weekly

You'll also receive one month of exclusive access to The HR Weekly – our comprehensive service with all the HR advice and compliance tools to simplify your job … and to keep your organization out of court. So that you continue to benefit from The HR Weekly, we will continue your subscription after that for the then current rate, unless you tell us "no, thanks" – your choice.

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