Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodation

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and regulations issued by the EEOC have significantly changed the playing field for pregnancy accommodation. Some accommodations are almost always going to be required, essential functions may have to be changed temporarily, documentation is limited, and interim accommodations are advisable. In most situations, the question is not whether to accommodate but how.

We can help you understand your organization’s legal obligations, brainstorm options for accommodation, design effective procedures for responding to accommodation requests, develop training for supervisors, and more.

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Pregnancy Accommodation Means More than Accommodation During Pregnancy

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act applies to more than accommodations for employees during pregnancy. Limitations that are related to pregnancy may also require accommodation. This includes pregnancy loss (miscarriage, abortion), infertility, fertility treatments, postpartum conditions, lactation, and menopause. Employers need to be prepared to deal with a wide variety of accommodation requests. We can get you ready.

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Lactation Accommodation Is More Than Pumping Breaks

“Lactation accommodation” usually calls to mind an employer’s obligation to provide an employee with reasonable breaks to express breast milk and a private location to use to do so. But it can mean much more than that, such as work from home to breastfeed under certain circumstances, schedule changes, part-time work, and transfers to less hazardous positions. Most salaried employees must be paid for their pumping breaks, and the U.S. Department of Labor says that most likely employees cannot be required to make up their pumping time and their performance metrics need to be adjusted to take into account the time they spend pumping. Employers have to comply with a combination of federal, state, and local breastfeeding laws – sometimes five or six laws at once. But it doesn’t have to be a headache. Let us make it easy for you.

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Fitting Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodation into Your Company’s Employee Management Program

Complying with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is crucial, but it is not enough. Accommodating pregnant and pumping employees can raise a variety of other issues, like supervisor frustration, coworker backlash, precedent concerns, and claims of discrimination and retaliation. We can help you navigate these issues and go further to create a supportive environment for pregnant and lactating employees that will improve retention, recruitment, and productivity.

Let’s talk about how you can work better with your caregiving employees.

Workforce 21C is now Work+Family Insight.