According to a New Hampshire judge, “It is at least a jury question whether as plaintiff alleges, ‘public policy encourages a mother to breastfeed her child, particularly where breastfeeding is imperative for the child’s health.’”  For this reason, the court denied an employer’s motion to dismiss a New Hampshire woman’s wrongful discharge case after she asked her employer to allow her to breastfeed her newborn son during the workday.  Plaintiff Kate Frederick will now have her case heard before a jury in September 2019.

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On March 5, 2018 I reported that the EEOC announced a settlement in its first lawsuit alleging that parental leave policies which granted more rights to mothers discriminated against new fathers. Details on the lawsuit’s allegations can be found here. The EEOC’s press release was devoid of details about the terms of the settlement. On July 17, the details became public, and they are likely to send shock waves through HR departments and C suites.
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Photo: Governor Charlie Baker (Public Domain)

Last week, Governor Baker signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law, which guarantees greater protections for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the workplace.  The bill had unanimously passed in both the House and Senate.  The law prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee

On July 5, 2017 Washington became the latest state to enact some form of paid family and medical leave. The new law goes into effect in January 2020 and will provide employees with up to twelve (12) weeks per year of paid family leave for the following purposes:

• The employee’s own serious health condition;
• Care of a family member with a serious health condition;
• Care of a child new to the family following birth, adoption or placement in foster care; or
• For qualifying exigencies due to a family member’s deployment to active duty in the US Armed Forces.
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Photo: TipsTimesAdmin via Flickr (CC by 2.0) - tipstimes.com
Photo: TipsTimesAdmin via Flickr (CC by 2.0) – tipstimes.com

Earlier this week, Massachusetts House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a law that would guarantee greater protections for pregnant women and nursing mothers.  The legislation prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee because of “pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy,” which is defined to include the need to express breast milk for a nursing child.  It also prohibits employers from denying pregnant women and nursing mothers reasonable accommodations if requested by the employee unless it would impose an undue hardship upon the employer.  The bill provides the following examples of such reasonable accommodations:
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On June 25, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues to make it consistent with the decision in Young v.United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), the most recent U.S. Supreme Court case on pregnancy discrimination.

The Young court analyzed under what circumstances the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The US Supreme Court on March 25, 2015 decided the case of Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.(UPS).  The issue in the case was whether, and in what circumstances, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k), requires an employer which provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations to provide work accommodations

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (” EEOC”) on July 14, 2014 issued an Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination   The document, which was not published for public comment prior to its release, purports to provide guidance regarding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as it applies to pregnant workers.  The