Ame Management Group

You take care of your company and we will take care of your people. Ame Management Group – HR and Financial Management Outsourcing at its best.

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EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Fact Sheet for Small Businesses and Question and Answer Document Also Released

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses.  The Enforcement GuidanceQ&A document, and Fact Sheetwill be available on the  EEOC’s website.

This is the first comprehensive update of the Commission’s guidance on the subject of discrimination against pregnant workers since the 1983 publication of a Compliance Manual chapter on the subject.  This guidance supersedes that document and incorporates significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

In addition to addressing the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the guidance discusses the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008, to individuals who have pregnancy-related disabilities.

“Pregnancy is not a justification for excluding women from jobs that they are qualified to perform, and it cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than co-workers similar in their ability or inability to work,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.  “Despite much progress, we continue to see a significant number of charges alleging pregnancy discrimination, and our investigations have revealed the persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices.  This guidance will aid employers, job seekers, and workers in complying with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, and thus advance EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan priority of addressing the emerging issue of the interaction between these two anti-discrimination statutes.”

Much of the analysis in the enforcement guidance is an update of longstanding EEOC policy.  The guidance sets out the fundamental PDA requirements that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other persons similar in their ability or inability to work.  The guidance also explains how the ADA’s definition of “disability” might apply to workers with impairments related to pregnancy.

Among other issues, the guidance discusses:

  • The fact that the PDA covers not only current pregnancy, but discrimination based on past pregnancy and a woman’s potential to become pregnant;
  • Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition;
  • The circumstances under which employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers;
  • Issues related to leave for pregnancy and for medical conditions related to pregnancy;
  • The PDA’s prohibition against requiring pregnant workers who are able to do their jobs to take leave;
  • The requirement that parental leave (which is distinct from medical leave associated with childbearing or recovering from childbirth) be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms;
  • When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related impairments under the ADA and the types of accommodations that may be necessary; and
  • Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.

In February, 2012, the Commission held a public meeting to hear from stakeholders about issues related to pregnancy discrimination and discrimination against individuals with caregiving responsibilities.  The Commission Meeting record was held open for 15 days following the meeting, to facilitate public comment.  The materials from that meeting, including testimony and transcripts, are available at

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

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Mandatory EEO-1 Survey Reporting Due September 30th

Do Imageyou have 50 or more employees, and

  • are prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors, and have a contract, subcontract, or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more; or
  • 100 or more employees EXCLUDING State and local governments, primary and secondary school systems, institutions of higher education, Indian tribes and tax-exempt private membership clubs other than labor organizations

Then you are required to complete EEO-1 reporting  or what is commonly know as the Employers Information Report  which should be submitted to the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Reports must be submitted and certified by September 30, 2013.  Are you ready?  Do you know what to do?

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NEW LAW – Effective October 1, 2013

ImageOn May 17th, governor Martin O’Malley signed into Maryland law the requirement that employers with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees  beyond those presently required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy discrimination Act (PDA).

Under the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act (effective October 1, 2013), absent under-due hardship, employers will be required to discuss all “possible requests of reasonable accommodation” with pregnant employees who request reasonable accommodation including:

  • Changing the employee’s job duties;
  • Changing the employee’s work hours;
  • relocating the employee’s work area;
  • providing mechanical or electrical aids;
  • transferring the employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position,
  • or providing leave.

Under the new requirement, employers will have to post a notice in a conspicuous location (suggestion – same places all other such workplace notices and posters are hung) and revise employee handbooks to include a section explaining a pregnant employee’s right to a reasonable accommodation under the new law.

 – Andria Lure Ryan

Although the new law will not take effect until October 1st, employers should plan for the new requirements by reviewing their policies, practices and employee handbooks  now.

If you need assistance ensuring compliance, feel free to give us a call at 301-298-5543.  We will be more than happy to assist you.

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Independent Contractor Classifi cations Hold Many Risks

By Randall D. Avram and Michael T. Rosenberg

Among the handful of employment law issues currently targeted by plaintiffs’ lawyers and government agencies, only independent contractor misclassifi cations are under attack from so many angles.

An employer’s decision to classify a worker as an independent contractor can be challenged as a result of any number of triggers, such as a federal or state tax audit, a benefits dispute, a workers’ compensation claim, an unemployment claim, a wage and hour lawsuit, a federal Department of Labor audit (or its state equivalent), merger/acquisition due diligence, or a discrimination lawsuit. Although each of these liability sources carries its own threat of significant penalties and costs, a mis-classification challenge on any one of these fronts threatens to trigger
attacks from all sides.

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If Wal-mart can be sued are you sure your HR practices are actually protecting you?

Last week Wal-Mart settled a lawsuit over unpaid wages to over 200,000 workers that could cost them up to $86 million. Over the past few years, the giant retailer has paid as much as $640 million to settle 63 federal and state Imageclass-action lawsuits alleging unpaid wages. And what about your organization? Are you sure your HR practices are actually protecting you?

Below are a few of the most common workforce mistakes companies make:

  • Not paying the agreed-upon wage
  • Not putting wage agreements in writing
  • Averaging hours worked over 2 or more workweeks
  • Deducting money from pay without written authorization
  • Loaning money, advancing wages, or paying wages without maintaining clear, written documentation of the transaction
  • Allowing (or encouraging or ordering) employees to work off the clock
  • Thinking that paying an employee a salary is enough to avoid having to pay overtime

Improper handling of HR issues is the number one reason companies get sued.  Make sure you don’t end up in the news.