Should Pregnancy Be Covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
There has been consistent buzz recently about the possibility of expanding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include pregnancy.
Pregnancy currently is not recognized as a disability under the ADA. Although, it is covered for eligible employees by the Family and Medical Leave Act., which allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from employment for the birth of a child (among other instances). The FMLA also guarantees that the covered individual can return to the same or equivalent job and retain his or her health-care coverage if provided by the company.
In a recent opinion piece featured on CNN.com, associate professor of law Jeanette Cox argued that pregnancy should qualify for ADA as a valid, short-term disability. “The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 broadened the ADA to include many short-term and relatively minor physical conditions. Pregnant women who experience comparable physical limitations should also have the opportunity to receive accommodations that will enable them to continue working,” Cox said.
With the newest amendments to the ADA now in effect, as well as the evolving conversation of what should and should not be covered by the ADA, it’s more important now than ever that managers and HR employees have a working knowledge of ADA coverages, and have received proper ADA training.
We want to hear from you. How have the ADAAA expansions to the ADA affected your business? What do you think about the possibility of inclusion of pregnancy as a covered disability?Categories: Workplace Compliance
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