The EEOC has issued an enforcement guidance that makes it clear that an employer must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers who experience a medical need for a temporary change at work.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) states that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. However, many employers took the position that it did not require them to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. For example, if a pregnant worker’s job required her to stand for long periods, the employer would fire the worker if she was temporarily unable to do so rather than provide her with a chair.
Pregnant workers were treated like second-class citizens compared to workers who were injured or disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) clearly states that employers must make reasonable accommodations for individuals who are injured or disabled.