Sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination based on pregnancy. You may be eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) including if you are unable to work because your health care provider advises you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. Tip: Start looking around at how your employer treats other non-pregnant employees who have needed an accommodation at work. Regardless of the approach, however, employers should ensure that whoever receives inquiries knows how to handle them consistent with the different federal employment nondiscrimination laws that may apply, for instance, with respect to accommodations due to a medical condition, a religious belief, or pregnancy. Yes. If you are pregnant and still working, you may have rights under several federal, state, or local laws to ask for changes in your workplace to ensure your safety. A Better Balance is here to help. Not necessarily. [email protected], Lauri F. Rasnick If you are a part-time worker, you will be paid emergency sick time for the number of hours you work on average over a two-week period. Similarly, the CDC recently posted information on return by certain types of critical workers. You may be able to get "reasonable" accommodations if you have a pregnancy complication such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. Although many people feel significant stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees with certain preexisting mental health conditions, for example, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder, may have more difficulty handling the disruption to daily life that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. D.6. To learn more about cookies and how we use them, please review our privacy policy. Whether the request is granted will depend on whether the worker is an individual with a disability, and whether there is a reasonable accommodation that can be provided absent undue hardship. The employee or her representative should communicate that she has a medical condition that necessitates a change to meet a medical need. However, where an employee with a disability needs a related reasonable accommodation under the ADA (e.g., non-latex gloves, modified face masks for interpreters or others who communicate with an employee who uses lip reading, or gowns designed for individuals who use wheelchairs), or a religious accommodation under Title VII (such as modified equipment due to religious garb), the employer should discuss the request and provide the modification or an alternative if feasible and not an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business under the ADA or Title VII. An employee—or a third party, such as an employee’s doctor—must let the employer know that she needs a change for a reason related to a medical condition (here, the underlying condition). C.2. (4/9/20). Under the circumstances existing currently, the ADA allows an employer to bar an employee from physical presence in the workplace if he refuses to have his temperature taken or refuses to answer questions about whether he has COVID-19, has symptoms associated with COVID-19, or has been tested for COVID-19. (9/8/20; adapted from 3/27/20 Webinar Question 4). Technical Assistance Questions and Answers - Updated on Sep. 8, 2020. Washington, DC 20507 Must an employer grant these requests? Choosing one of these alternatives may be particularly helpful where the requested accommodation would provide protection that an employee may need because of a pre-existing disability that puts her at greater risk during this pandemic. You have to quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking diagnosis, a member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you’re caring for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, your child’s school is closed due to COVID-19 or a facility for someone for whom you are the primary caregiver is closed due to COVID-19 and you need that facility to be operating in order to go to work, you are unable to reach your workplace because of a quarantine imposed as a result of COVID-19, You can’t go to work because your health care provider advises you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, You were scheduled to start a job and don’t have a job or are unable to reach your job because of COVID-19, You have become the breadwinner or major support for your family because the head of household has died from COVID-19, Your place of work has closed as a direct result of COVID-19. (4/9/20), B.4. For more information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, its purposes, and eligibility requirements, see here. This means that a pregnant employee may be entitled to job modifications, including telework, changes to work schedules or assignments, and leave to the extent provided for other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. No. If a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship, employers and employees should work together to determine if there may be an alternative that could be provided that does not pose such problems. (4/9/20). For more information about those laws, contact A Better Balance’s free legal helpline. Are there steps an employer should take to address possible harassment and discrimination against coworkers when it re-opens the workplace? Make sure your health care provider avoids using vague terms about your condition or vague language about the type of accommodation you need. Consider sending a “reminder” to all workers, including contractors, reiterating the legal prohibitions on harassment, the company’s policy forbidding harassment and the potential disciplinary repercussions for engaging in such misconduct, and the procedures available “for anyone who experiences or witnesses workplace harassment to report it to management.”. What should she do? Prior to making a conditional job offer to an applicant, disability-related inquiries and medical exams are generally prohibited. Also, the undue hardship considerations might be different when evaluating a request for accommodation when teleworking rather than working in the workplace. The laws enforced by the EEOC prohibit covered employers from selecting people for furlough or layoff because of that individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, protected genetic information, or in retaliation for protected EEO activity. For example, in New York City, employees can request accommodations from employers based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, “regardless of whether their medical condition amounts to a disability.”, Employment Training, Practices, and Procedures, New EEOC COVID-19 Guidance Updates Accommodation Obligations and Warns Against Return-to-Work Age and Pregnancy Discrimination and Harassment of Workers of Asian Descent. Sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination based on pregnancy. Even with the constraints imposed by a pandemic, some accommodations may meet an employee's needs on a temporary basis without causing undue hardship on the employer. (9/8/20; adapted from 3/27/20 Webinar Question 5). For more information, see here. Frequently Asked Questions, Commissioner Charges and Directed Investigations, Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act, Management Directives & Federal Sector Guidance, Federal Sector Alternative Dispute Resolution, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities, General Business Frequently Asked Questions, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act. The CDC has identified a current list of symptoms. D.10. You may also be able to eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the CARES Act. Alternatively, if the disability is not obvious or already known, an employer may ask the employee for information to establish that the condition is a disability and what specific limitations require an accommodation. They are permitted between the time of the offer and when the applicant begins work, provided they are required for everyone in the same job category.