By James L. Curtis, Erin Dougherty Foley, Adam R. YoungMegan P. Toth, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers must evaluate their safety protections for pregnant women and engage in the interactive process with employees to find reasonable accommodations.

Reproductive Health Hazards in the Workplace

Pregnant women work in

By Megan P. Toth and Erin Dougherty Foley

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Washington State Office of the Attorney General has recently published a Guide outlining pregnant employees’ civil rights under the Washington “Healthy Starts Act,” a law which became effective July 23, 2017.

Under the Healthy Starts Act, employers with at least 15 employees

By Tracy M. Billows and Megan P. Toth

Seyfarth Synopsis:  If your company provides parental leave benefits beyond what is required by law, it is important that the company’s policies and practices ensure male and female employees are being treated consistent with the prohibition of discrimination based on sex.

On August 30, 2017, the

By Erin Dougherty FoleyAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Minnesota Supreme Court found that a job applicant need only prove that the employee’s interest in a 12-week maternity leave was the “substantial causative factor” that “actually motivated” the employer’s decision to rescind her job offer and did

By Camille Olson, Tracy Billows, Paul Kehoe and Ashley Laken

Earlier today in a 6-3 decision handed down in UPS v. Young, OPINION HERE the Supreme Court reversed a closely watched case which addressed whether denying pregnant workers accommodations was discriminatory under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.  In a somewhat convoluted opinion, the Supreme

By: Tracy Billows

Although employers are not required by law to have employee handbooks, if an employer chooses to go down such a path, legal compliance and being current with latest trends is a must. A non-compliant employee handbook can be used in claims of discrimination, union grievances, and other employee-employer disputes. Does your employee

By Erin Dougherty Foley and Craig B. Simonsen

In an interesting development, a number of large employers have begun to offer to pay for employees to freeze their eggs (aka ova (the female reproductive cell)).

There is merit to the notion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of couples where

By Lily M. Strumwasser

Thirty-five years ago, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), which outlawed discrimination against pregnant workers. Since then, legislators and employers have taken steps to make the workplace more accessible for pregnant women. Several state and local legislatures have enacted laws requiring employers to provide workplace accommodations to pregnant employees. Most recently, New York City and Philadelphia enacted laws requiring employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to pregnant women and those who suffer conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. 
Continue Reading

By Christopher DeGroff, Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., and Lily M. Strumwasser

“Here we go again.” It is the collective groan heard from employers across the country as they braced for the annual EEOC’s fiscal-year-end filing campaign. With 48 EEOC-initiated lawsuits filed in just the last 30 days, employers were understandably concerned. But when the EEOC’s 2013 fiscal year closed yesterday with a total of 134 lawsuits filed, and the dust settled, we saw a picture emerge about how the EEOC targeted employers in its enforcement efforts this year, and gain insight into what’s to come.

A Last Minute Rush – Again

The EEOC traditionally launches large salvos of federal court complaints across the country in the waning weeks of its fiscal year (ending September 30th). In FY 2011, the EEOC filed an astonishing 175 lawsuits in the last eight weeks of its 2011 fiscal year alone. As we reported here last year, the EEOC again revved its engine in August and September of 2012 and filed 67 of its 122 lawsuits. FY 2013 was no different, with 48 of its 134 filed in the last two months of the year – 11 today alone. Consider the graph below, capturing the month-to-month filing statistics for FY 2013.

EEOC Cases Filed By Month – FY 2013


Continue Reading

By: Lily M. Strumwasser

 In the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for FY 2013-2016, it cautioned employers, corporate counsel, and HR professionals that the commission is ramping up its focus on pregnancy discrimination allegations.  Employers beware – the EEOC is making good on its promise.  The EEOC has recently filed a string of pregnancy discrimination lawsuits and there are no signs that the agency will slow down its pursuit of this topic any time soon.

 The Nuts And Bolts Of Pregnancy Discrimination

 The EEOC’s  approach to cracking down on pregnancy discrimination is linked to frustrations that women are frequently treated with bias when pregnant.  The commission is focusing its resources on litigating pregnancy discrimination allegations in efforts to diminish long-standing stereotypes that pregnant women (or women with children) are less dedicated to their jobs than women or men without children.
Continue Reading