- PruittHealth-Raleigh LLC agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that the company denied a reasonable accommodation to a pregnant employee who had a medically imposed lifting restriction and then required her to resign because of the restriction.
- The EEOC said in a statement announcing the settlement that the certified nursing assistant was subjected to disparate treatment because the company had accommodated the restrictions of non-pregnant employees who were injured on the job.
- The company also agreed to put into place and distribute a written policy explaining that modified duty for pregnant workers with doctor-ordered, pregnancy-related work restrictions is available on the same basis as modified duty to non-pregnant employees, EEOC said. PruittHealth-Raleigh must also provide annual training to its managers and supervisors on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with an emphasis on its requirement that employers not take adverse employment actions against pregnant workers on the basis of their pregnancy.
Because of the EEOC's enforcement position, employers may need to brush up on relevant laws. Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), forbids discrimination against pregnant employees and, according to the commission, requires employers to provide the same reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees as those provided to other employees. State laws may impose other requirements related to pregnant workers on employers, as well.
Randy Gepp, a partner with Taylor English, previously told HR Dive that, while the PDA doesn't require accommodations, if an employer offers light duty or a similar accommodation to other employees, then it has to offer similar accommodations to pregnant employees. Accommodations can include "light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees if it does so for other temporarily disabled employees," according to the EEOC.