South Carolina Enacts Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Law Contains New Notice & Poster Requirement

South Carolina has enacted a new law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees with medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In particular, the law prohibits covered employers from failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its business.

Notice & Poster Requirements
Covered employers must provide a written notice regarding the law to existing employees by September 14, 2018, and all new hires on or after that date. The notice must be also conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business. The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission is expected to issue a model notice in the coming months.

Click here to read the text of the law, which is currently in effect.

 

Originally Posted by HR360

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act amends the current statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the
basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. It also describes employers’ obligations to employees that are pregnant or lactating and the protections these employees are entitled to receive. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.

Under the Act:

  • Upon request for an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to communicate with the employee in order to determine a reasonable accommodation for the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This is called an “interactive process,” and it must be done in good faith. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows the employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing a pregnancy-related condition, without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer must accommodate conditions related to pregnancy, including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer. “Undue hardship” means that providing the accommodation would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense.
  • An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, or to begin disability or parental leave if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant job applicant or applicant with a pregnancy-related condition, because of the pregnancy or the pregnancy-related condition, if an applicant is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer cannot deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s request for or use of a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
  • An employer cannot require medical documentation about the need for an accommodation if the accommodation requested is for: (i) more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. An employer, may, owever, request medical documentation for other accommodations.
  • Employers must provide written notice to employees of the right to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means of notice no later than April 1, 2018.
  • Employers must also provide written notice of employees’ rights under the Act: (1) to new employees at or prior to the start of employment; and (2) to an employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, no more than 10 days after such notification.

As of today, there has not been any mandatory posters associated with this update that will be included in our posters. All in One Poster Company will continued to monitor this labor law update.

The foregoing is a synopsis of the requirements under the Act, and both employees and employers are encouraged to read the full text of the law available on the General Court’s website here:
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2017/Chapter54.

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, you may file a formal complaint with the MCAD. You may also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both agencies require the formal complaint to be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act.

Originally published by MCAD

California Updates Nondiscrimination Regulations Concerning Pregnancy and Sexual Harassment

Changes Effective April 1, 2016

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released new final regulations, effective April 1, 2016, that address (among other things) pregnancy and sexual harassment under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Background
The FEHA prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment on the basis of certain protected classes, such as race, color, religion, disability, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions). The law generally applies to employers with 5 or more employees; however, the provisions regarding harassment apply to all employers.

New Provisions
Highlights of the new regulations include the following:

  • In addition to distributing the DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment (or an alternative writing that complies with Government Code section 12950), a covered employer must develop aharassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that meets specific requirements (§ 11023).
  • New content standards for the abusive conduct component of the required sexual harassment training are included.
  • An employer must maintain and pay for group health coverage for an eligible female employee who takes pregnancy disability leave for the duration of the leave—not to exceed 4 months over the course of a 12-month period per pregnancy—beginning on the date the pregnancy disability leave begins, at the same level and under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had not taken pregnancy disability leave.
  • A covered employer must post (and keep posted) notice of rights and obligations regarding pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions on its premises, in conspicuous places where employees are employed. The notice must explain the FEHA’s provisions andprovide information about how to contact the DFEH to file a complaint and learn more about rights and obligations under the law.
  • If the employer publishes an employee handbook that describes other kinds of reasonable accommodation, transfers, or temporary disability leaves available to its employees, that employer must include a description of reasonable accommodation, transfer, and pregnancy disability leave in the next edition of its handbook that it publishes following adoption of the regulations. In the alternative, the employer may distribute to its employees a copy of its notice (described above) at least annually.

Employers are advised to read the regulations in their entirety for additional changes and details.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY http://www.HR360.com