Fedweek

The House is set to vote this week on HR-1065, which would expand workplace protections for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for federal employees along with many employees of private sector companies.

The bill would require employers including federal agencies to make a “reasonable accommodation” parallel to what is required for employees with disabling conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act unless that would impose an “undue hardship” on the employer. The EEOC would define such accommodations, which under the ADA can include making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment, and more.

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The bill would make it unlawful to: deny employment opportunities to current employees or job applicants based on the need of the entity to make such; require employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided; or take adverse action in retaliation for an employee requesting or using such accommodations.

For federal employees, remedies for violations could include the EEOC complaint process or an appeal to the MSPB and in certain circumstances the right to sue in federal court.

Most federal employees already are covered by the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which provides some similar protections.

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