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Employee-Friendly Pregnancy Rules Could Get Even More So

Corporate Counsel (05/24/12) Amanda Bronstad

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is holding hearings on new rules that could toughen the state’s pregnancy discrimination laws by deeming lactation, morning sickness, prenatal or postnatal care, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, post-partum depression, childbirth, loss or end of pregnancy, and recovery from childbirth as pregnancy-related conditions that require employers to make accommodations. These accommodations could include leave, a transfer to another department, more rest breaks, or lighter duties, among other options. Laura Reathaford, special employment law counsel at Los Angeles-based Proskauer Rose, notes, “These regulations do not allow for that employer defense of undue hardship, nor do they outline an interactive process between an employer or an employee.”