41 CFR § 60-20.5 - Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

§ 60-20.5 Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

(a) In general. - (1) Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including childbearing capacity, is a form of unlawful sex discrimination. Contractors must treat people of childbearing capacity and those affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe-benefit programs, as other persons not so affected, but similar in their ability or inability to work.

(2) Related medical conditions include, but are not limited to, lactation; disorders directly related to pregnancy, such as preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), placenta previa, and gestational diabetes; symptoms such as back pain; complications requiring bed rest; and the after-effects of a delivery.

(b) Examples. Examples of unlawful pregnancy discrimination include, but are not limited to:

(1) Refusing to hire pregnant people or people of childbearing capacity, or otherwise subjecting such applicants or employees to adverse employment treatment, because of their pregnancy or childbearing capacity;

(2) Firing female employees or requiring them to go on leave because they become pregnant or have a child;

(3) Limiting pregnant employees' job duties based solely on the fact that they are pregnant, or requiring a doctor's note in order for a pregnant employee to continue working; and

(4) Providing employees with health insurance that does not cover hospitalization and other medical costs for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to the same extent that hospitalization and other medical costs are covered for other medical conditions.

(c) Accommodations -

(1) Disparate treatment. It is a violation of Executive Order 11246 for a contractor to deny alternative job assignments, modified duties, or other accommodations to employees who are unable to perform some of their job duties because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions where:

(i) The contractor denies such assignments, modifications, or other accommodations only to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;

(ii) The contractor provides, or is required by its policy or by other relevant laws to provide, such assignments, modifications, or other accommodations to other employees whose abilities or inabilities to perform their job duties are similarly affected, and the denial of accommodations imposes a significant burden on employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and the contractor's asserted reasons for denying accommodations to such employees do not justify that burden; or

(iii) Intent to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is otherwise shown.

(2) Disparate impact. Contractors that have policies or practices that deny alternative job assignments, modified duties, or other accommodations to employees who are unable to perform some of their job duties because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must ensure that such policies or practices do not have an adverse impact on the basis of sex unless they are shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. For example, where a contractor's policy of offering light duty only to employees with on-the-job injuries has an adverse impact on employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, the policy would be impermissible unless shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

(d) Leave -

(1) In general. To the extent that a contractor provides family, medical, or other leave, such leave must not be denied or provided differently on the basis of sex.

(2) Disparate treatment.

(i) A contractor must provide job-guaranteed medical leave, including paid sick leave, for employees' pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions on the same terms that medical or sick leave is provided for medical conditions that are similar in their effect on employees' ability to work.

(ii) A contractor must provide job-guaranteed family leave, including any paid leave, for male employees on the same terms that family leave is provided for female employees.

(3) Disparate impact. Contractors that have employment policies or practices under which insufficient or no medical or family leave is available must ensure that such policies or practices do not have an adverse impact on the basis of sex unless they are shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.