On June 14, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) participated in the White House United State of Women Summit. Coinciding with the Summit, the EEOC issued three resource documents that address women’s rights in the workplace. The resource documents provide insight into the EEOC’s enforcement positions on topics such as wage equality and accommodations for pregnant employees.

The first resource document, found here: Equal Pay and the EEOC’s Proposal to Collect Pay Data, emphasizes the Commission’s plan to collect summary pay data by gender (among other classifications) from employers with 100 or more employees. The Commission claims that the pay data will be used to provide insight into pay disparities across industries and to strengthen federal efforts to combat pay discrimination. The Commission received comments on its proposal to collect pay data in March 2016 and expects to submit any revisions to the proposal for a second comment period in the summer of 2016. The original proposal can be viewed here: proposal.

The second and third resource documents, found here: Legal Rights for Pregnant Workers under Federal Law and here: Helping Patients Deal with Pregnancy-Related Conditions and Restrictions at Work, explain the Commission’s position on employer obligations to pregnant women under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The first of these documents is directed to employees and primarily addresses, in question and answer format, the circumstances under which an accommodation might be required as well as possible accommodations. For example:

The second pregnancy-related fact sheet is aimed at the healthcare providers who treat pregnant employees. It educates those providers regarding accommodations that are available to their patients and describes what the providers can do to assist a patient/employee in securing an accommodation.

As these adresource documents demonstrate, the Commission continues to focus its enforcement efforts on pay disparities and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Employers should make sure they are well educated concerning their obligations under the Equal Pay Act, the PDA and ADA. When in doubt, a quick call to employment counsel could avoid a costly legal battle with an employee or the EEOC.

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