This Sunday, April 20, marks the deadline by which Philadelphia employers must provide their employees with written notice of a recent amendment to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance. The amendment provides additional protections to pregnant employees.
On January 20, 2014, Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed into law an amendment to the ordinance that expanded local employment protections. Although the amendment became effective immediately, employers were given 90 days to inform employees of their right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions in addition to the right to reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Under the amendment, reasonable accommodations include restroom breaks, periodic rest for employees who stand for long periods of time, assistance with manual labor, leave for a period of disability arising from childbirth, reassignment to a vacant position, and job restructuring. Like other similar laws, an employer is not required to provide an accommodation if the accommodation would cause the employer an undue hardship.
The ordinance does not diminish protections afforded by other federal, state, and local laws prohibiting sex or pregnancy discrimination. Employers are also required to post a notice of these rights conspicuously in an area accessible to employees. A link to the mandatory posting can be found on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations website.