What Employers Should Know About New EEOC Equal Pay and Pregnancy Advisories

To coincide with June’s United State of Women Summit at the White House, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued several new fact sheets for employers. One addressed equal pay for women and two others covered pregnancy discrimination and accommodations. Taken together, they provide the latest EEOC positions on these important issues for employers.

In announcing EEOC’s participation in the United State of Women Summit and the new fact sheets, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang noted the commission had published the resources “to help women better understand their rights in the workplace and promote compliance by employers.”

Equal Pay

The “Equal Pay and the EEOC’s Proposal to Collect Pay Data” fact sheet begins by saying pay discrimination “remains a persistent problem for too many Americans.” To address this, the EEOC has proposed collecting pay data, a move it says “will assist employers in evaluating their pay practices to prevent pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws.” The proposal would add “aggregate data on pay and hours worked” to the annual Employer Information Report produced by the EEOC. The pay data would “facilitate voluntary compliance” and be used to “assess complaints of discrimination.”

The EEOC held public hearings on this in March, followed by a period where it accepted written comments. It will now revise the proposal and submit it for additional comments this summer before finalizing lisinopril generic.

The equal pay fact sheet also reiterated the rights of men and women under the Equal Pay Act to “equal wages if they perform substantially the same work in the same workplace.” EEOC notes equal pay involves more than just wages and includes overtime, bonuses, stock options, profit-sharing, insurance, and vacation pay. Finally, the fact sheet offers advice to employees who feel they are not being paid equally, including filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The document emphasizes in bold text that it is illegal for employers to retaliate against an employee for contacting the EEOC or filing a complaint.

It is clear the EEOC takes the issue of equal pay serious, and employers should review the fact sheet and ensure compliance.

Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodations

The first EEOC fact sheet on pregnancy discrimination, titled “Legal Rights for Pregnant Workers under Federal Law,” outlines the rights of pregnant employees. It underscores that if an employer has more than 15 employees, women are protected against pregnancy-based discrimination and harassment under federal law. The document explains those rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Also covered are the accommodations a pregnant employee can expect from an employer, and how to file a complaint with the EEOC regarding any violations of applicable law.

A second fact sheet titled “Helping Patients Deal with Pregnancy-Related Conditions and Restrictions at Work” provides information for health providers on options for their pregnant patients if their pregnancy is interfering with work. This includes a pregnant woman’s rights to seek accommodations that will allow her to continue work without jeopardizing her health.Though not specifically directed at employers, both pregnancy discrimination fact sheets provide valuable insights for companies on current EEOC policies and the applicable law. Employers should compare with existing policies and procedures and update accordingly if gaps are revealed.

Though not specifically directed at employers, both pregnancy discrimination fact sheets provide valuable insights for companies on current EEOC policies and the applicable law. Employers should compare with existing policies and procedures and update accordingly if gaps are revealed.

The new EEOC documents reveal the agency considers the treatment of women in the workplace a top priority. Employers would be advised to take this opportunity to ensure compliance, given the EEOC has laid out in a clear, simple manner what is required. A discussion with experienced labor and employment counsel might also provide insights.

Posted in Employment Law.