Guidance: In connection with the White House United State of Women Summit, which took place on June 14, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued three new fact sheets concerning equal pay and pregnancy discrimination issues in federal law. The first fact sheet, titled “Equal Pay and the EEOC’s Proposal to Collect Pay Data,” discusses gender-based pay discrimination, emphasizing that such discrimination is still a persistent problem 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The guidance summarizes employees’ rights to equal pay under federal law and describes the EEOC’s recent proposal to collect pay data from employers, which the EEOC hopes will provide insight into pay disparities across industries and occupations, thereby contributing to federal efforts to combat discrimination. The second fact sheet, titled “Legal Rights for Pregnant Workers under Federal Law,” provides guidance regarding federal legal protections for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, including altered break or work schedules, workplace accommodations and paid or unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Finally, the third fact sheet, titled “Helping Patients Deal with Pregnancy-Related Conditions and Restrictions at Work,” aims to educate health providers on federal protections under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act that are available to patients who find that their pregnancies are interfering with work.
Impact: The EEOC typically issues fact sheets when it decides to prioritize investigations or litigation on a certain topic. It is therefore wise for employers to take this opportunity to review their policies to ensure that they conform with the best practices described in the EEOC guidance.