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Volume XI, Number 135

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Indiana Enacts Pregnancy Accommodations Law, Effective in July 2021

A new Indiana statute sets out the process for pregnant workers to seek a reasonable accommodation from their employers. The new law applies to employers with at least 15 employees. It goes into effect on July 1, 2021.

Pregnant workers may already qualify for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, which applies to employers with at least 15 employees.

The new law provides that an employee may request, in writing, an accommodation related to pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions. The employer must respond to the employee’s request within a reasonable amount of time. Under the new law, however, the employer is not required to provide an accommodation. Existing federal or state law may require that an accommodation be provided.

Additionally, an employee who seeks an accommodation under the new law is protected from discipline, termination, or other forms of retaliation for seeking or using an accommodation. An attempt to accommodate or failure to accommodate an employee’s request is not considered disciplinary or retaliatory.

Indiana’s law is meant to be an expansion of existing state and federal protections and does not limit, diminish, or affect any state or federal laws concerning sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, family medical leave, disability, or childbirth discrimination.

Indiana joins a majority of states, the District of Columbia, and at least four cities that have laws on their books regarding pregnancy accommodation. Critics of Indiana’s law, including Governor Eric Holcomb, argue it does not provide enough protection for pregnant workers. Three other pregnancy accommodation bills were introduced by the Indiana Legislature, with a wide variety of protections for pregnant workers. Given Governor Holcomb’s stance on this issue and the number of bills introduced this legislative session on the subject, discussion over this issue may not be over and could be debated by the Indiana Legislature in 2022.

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Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 112
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About this Author

Dorothy McDermott, Employment litigation lawyer, Jackson Lewis
Principle

Dorothy (“Dottie”) D. Parson McDermott is a Principal in the Indianapolis, Indiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She concentrates her practice in the defense of civil rights and employment-related claims, as well as ERISA and non-ERISA employee benefits matters, including bad faith and breach of contract claims.

Ms. McDermott defends employers and management in federal and state courts and before administrative entities (EEOC, Indiana and U.S. Department of Labor, and similar state agencies) in matters ranging from ADA, ADEA, COBRA, FMLA,...

317-489-6940
Drew C. Ambrose Labor & Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Indianapolis, IN
Associate

Drew C. Ambrose is an associate in the Indianapolis, Indiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventative advice and counseling.

Prior to attending law school, Drew worked in human resources at a Fortune 100 company for several years with a focus in employee relations and staffing. Drew has conducted countless workplace investigations around allegations of harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence.

While in law school, Drew focused his coursework on Labor...

317-489-6944
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