Pregnancy in the Workplace: Understanding the New Laws on Accommodations for Pregnancy and Lactation

Duration: 90 minutes Speaker: Melissa Fleischer, Esq

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If you thought you understood your obligations from a legal perspective of handling a pregnant employee in your workplace, think again.  The rules are changing so quickly it is often hard to keep up.  First of all, as you probably are aware, a normal pregnancy is not a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA/ADAAA.  Does that mean when an employee requests to be able to take more frequent breaks due to her pregnancy that you do not have to grant her that reasonable accommodation?  Absolutely not.  The reason why is twofold.  First of all, the EEOC has issued guidelines stating that employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees based on all those pregnancy-related conditions that pregnant women have like gestational diabetes or hypertension. 

In addition, many states and municipalities have passed laws that affirmatively require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to their pregnant employees.  In addition, many states and municipalities have also issued laws and regulations for nursing moms in the workplace.  For instance, NYC just issued Model Lactation Accommodation Policies and Request Forms. Although New York State has required that employers provide reasonable break time for a while, NYC just passed a law requiring that employers in NYC provide employees with lactation accommodations, including a lactation room where employees can pump/express breast milk, and reasonable time to pump/express breast milk.

In addition, New York City now requires that all employers with 4 or more employees have a written lactation policy that is compliant with the recently-enacted law.  It also requires that employers provide a copy of that new policy to every new employee. Learn what your Lactation Policy should include and see a sample draft lactation policy.

This Webinar Will Provide Answers to these Questions and More:

  • What states and municipalities require reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees?
  • What is the “Interactive Process” that is required when a pregnant employee requests a reasonable accommodation
  • Types of reasonable accommodations you may need to provide to a pregnant employee
  • What procedures should you have in place for providing reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees?
  • Reasonable break time for nursing moms: what is required?
  • Federal, state and local laws requiring reasonable break
  • Lactation room requirements
  • Model lactation accommodation policies and procedures

Who Should Attend

HR, benefits, managers, supervisors, training, in-house counsel, financial officers, CEOs

Melissa Fleischer, Esq

Melissa Fleischer, Esq., is a sought-after employment law attorney and HR advisor, having utilized her 20 years of law practice experience specializing in employment discrimination litigation to form HR Learning Center LLC, an HR consulting firm that specializes in providing workplace solutions to employers on a wide range of legal and human resource management issues. Ms. Fleischer provides preventative counseling and proactive training on a wide-range of employment law issues to help employers achieve legal compliance and reduce litigation costs, Ms. Fleischer is a management-side employment attorney and is nationally recognized as an expert in her field. Ms. Fleischer has successfully represented numerous clients in employment discrimination litigation as well as providing preventive counseling and training on workplace issues. Ms Fleischer was previously associated with Epstein Becker & Green in NYC.

Through HR Learning Center, Ms. Fleischer provides on-site training seminars and on-line training webinars and consulting on a wide range of workplace and human resource issues including sexual harassment, disabilities, diversity, discrimination, workplace violence, employee use of social media, job descriptions, employee handbooks, workplace investigations, FLSA misclassification and independent contractor status, information privacy and security, and HR records management. She also offers compliance training on the major employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, including exempt and non-exempt worker classifications and the National Labor Relations Act. She presents seminars, leads webinars and workshops, and is a frequent lecturer on these and other HR management and legal topics.

Ms. Fleischer served as a chapter editor for the Family and Medical Leave Act Treatise, published by the Bureau of National Affairs. She also served as an Editor for HRExpert, an on-line legal resource for attorneys and HR Professionals. Ms. Fleischer is an adjunct faculty member with the Professional Development Center at SUNY/Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Ms. Fleischer earned her J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and her B.A., cum laude, from New York University.


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Subjects: ADA


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