Home to consider extending pregnancy-related protections

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The House is expected to vote this week on HR-1065, which would extend workplace protections for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for federal employees as well as many employees of private sector companies.

The bill would require employers, including federal agencies, to make “reasonable accommodation” parallel to what is required for employees with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act unless it does. imposes “undue hardship” on the employer. The EEOC would define these accommodations, which under the ADA may include making existing facilities used by employees easily accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment, etc.

The bill would make illegal: the denial of employment opportunities to current employees or job seekers because of the need for the entity to do so; requiring employees to take leave with or without pay if other reasonable accommodation can be provided; or take adverse action in retaliation for an employee who requests or uses such accommodation.

For federal employees, remedies for violation could include the EEOC complaint process or an appeal to the MSPB and, in certain circumstances, the right to sue in federal court.

Most federal employees are already covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act 1978, which provides similar protections.

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