The pregnancy discrimination landscape has been forever changed, ever since the United States Supreme Court decided Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. In Young, the Supreme Court told employers that they had to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, unless they had a very good nondiscriminatory reason not to. With this case as support, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stepped up its crackdown on pregnancy discrimination.
The EEOC recently sued Landis Communities (Landis), a company that provides at-home and community living services. In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleges that Landis violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC claims that Landis refused to provide accommodations in the form of a lifting restriction to a pregnant employee who was suffering from pregnancy complications. Landis refused to provide the accommodations to the pregnant employee even though it provided similar lifting restriction accommodations to nonpregnant employees. The EEOC also alleges that Landis improperly fired this employee on the basis of her pregnancy and in retaliation for her pregnancy accommodation request.
Whether the EEOC is successful against Landis remains to be seen. However, this lawsuit signifies the changing pregnancy discrimination landscape: employers need to do a better job of treating their pregnant employees.