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When employers hear the news that their employee is pregnant, many do not know what to do.  Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) just-released guidance explains exactly what employers should do.  It details how the EEOC will be enforcing the law with regard to the six different federal statutes controlling this issue: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.  The major headline-grabbing part of the guidance is that the EEOC suggests that although healthy employees with a normal pregnancy are not “disabled” under the ADA, they must be accommodated as if they were.  Although many state and local laws now require this, including New York City and New Jersey, federal law has not, up until now.  Keep in mind, the guidance is not binding but is persuasive authority for Courts and shows what the EEOC intends to enforce.  It also shows the best practices the EEOC believes employers should undertake to avoid liability.  Maybe the most curious part of this whole guideline is why it was published now, when the issue highlighted above is pending before the United States Supreme court.  The details of this issue are explained below.

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