Category Archives: Pregnancy

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Should Employers Make Paid Parental Leave a Basic Employee Benefit? Considerations for Drafting a Parental Leave Policy

Netflix. Google. Proctor & Gamble. Accenture. IKEA. Greensboro, North Carolina. What do these have in common? They are employers. And they offer their employees paid parental leave. As I reflect upon the year 2016 (picture me meditating in my hyperbaric FMLA chamber I retreat to every evening), I’ve been poked and prodded about one question … Continue Reading

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long), required her to “announce” her bathroom breaks to others, prohibited her from taking shift breaks, denied access to water, and eventually terminated her … Continue Reading

EEOC Commissioner Offers Helpful Guidance to Employers on Providing Accommodations to Pregnant Employees

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting with EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic on the EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance and how employers should address pregnancy accommodations in the workplace.  Our presentation was part of an outstanding FMLA/ADA compliance conference hosted by the Disability Management Employer Coalition. You can access Bloomberg BNA’s coverage of our presentation here (pdf). From … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Gives Pregnant Employees a Path Toward Securing Workplace Accommodations

All across America this morning, pregnant employees are screaming out in muted shouts of joy and giving each other belly bumps. Last year, I reported on the EEOC’s recent pregnancy discrimination guidance, which interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as requiring workplace accommodations for pregnant employees even if impairments suffered during pregnancy do not rise to the level of a … Continue Reading

EEOC Regional Attorney John Hendrickson Offers Key Insights on EEOC's Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting with EEOC Regional Attorney in the Chicago District John Hendrickson on the EEOC’s recently drafted Pregnancy Discrimination Enforcement Guidance and how these guidelines will impact the manner in which employers will be required to provide accommodations to its pregnant employees.  The session was part of my law firm’s … Continue Reading

Don't Be Tripped Up by Light Duty Obligations under the FMLA and ADA: A Discussion of Employer Best Practices

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of presenting on the FMLA and ADA reasonable accommodations at CUPA-HR‘s annual conference with my friend, Stan Kulesa from The Standard. We spent much of our time discussing the delicate topic of light duty and how it intersects with — and creates employer obligations under — both the … Continue Reading

Dear Employers: We Have to Stop Sticking It to Pregnant Moms and Expectant Dads

Although I eagerly anticipate the arrival of a baby due to be born in the Nowak family within the next couple of weeks [number 4…somebody help me!], I assure you that my status as “expectant dad” is not clouding my objectivity regarding the rights of moms and dads in the workplace. But the fact of … Continue Reading

New EEOC Guidance Expands Protections and Requires Accommodations for Pregnant Employees (and Reaffirms Rights for Dads, Too!)

Earlier this week, the EEOC issued new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination, warning employers of their obligation to provide pregnant employees reasonable accommodations in the workplace and giving employers insight into how the EEOC will enforce pregnancy-related issues under Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in the future. As expected, the guidance confirms that the EEOC will broadly interpret when … Continue Reading
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