Pregnancy Accommodation Outline of the Law

Federal Statutes

Family and Medical Leave Act

29 U.S.C. §§2601–2654, FMLA Regulations, 29 C.F.R. Part 825

  1. Pregnant employees who work for a covered employer and who are eligible for FMLA leave may be entitled to leave as an 29 C.F.R. §825.203(c)(1). Leave is not discretionary; if the employee meets the criteria, she is entitled to leave. Leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. 29 U.S.C. §2612(b)(1). Leave may be taken for prenatal medical appointments, morning sickness, pregnancy-related conditions, and in the final weeks of pregnancy.
  2. Prenatal use reduces the amount of FMLA time available for childbirth and baby bonding. If the employee is not able to return to work at the end of her 12-week allotment because of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, she may be entitled to additional leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA (see I. above), unless the additional leave would create an undue hardship for the employer.
  3. After leave, the employee is to be reinstated to the same position or a substantially equivalent position. 29 U.S.C. §2614(a); 29 C.F.R. 825.214.
  4. State or local family and medical leave laws may require additional leave benefits and may apply to individuals not covered by the federal FMLA.
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