Wisconsin employees may be affected by new legislation designed to protect pregnant women from job discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated 30-year-old doctrines to clearly articulate that any form of discrimination against pregnant women at the workplace is to be considered illegal and constitutes sexual discrimination. The chairwoman for the EEOC says that the agency continues to receive an alarming amount of claims alleging overt or subtle discrimination against pregnant employees.
The new standards set forth by the EEOC prevent employers from requiring employees to take leave from work, stating that they are obligated to provide pregnant workers with light duty instead. In addition, lactation will now be considered as a medical condition related to the pregnancy. Men may now receive paternal leave as well. These changes were implemented less than a month following the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case concerning the EEOC's duty to attempt to settle workplace discrimination charges before filing a claim against the employer in court.