Louisiana: Pregnancy Disability Has Different Meanings Under the State’s Employment Discrimination Laws

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March 15, 2018

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In Brown v. The Blood Center, the Louisiana Court of Appeal recently stated that the standard for pregnancy disability under the state’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) does not apply to the definition of disability under the Employment Discrimination Law (EDL), because of limiting language in the PDA. The EDL states that a disability includes a physical impairment that limits one or more major life activities, while the PDA states that pregnancy or related conditions are treated as any other temporary disability.

There, a pregnant employee became ill and abandoned her post without first notifying her supervisor. Two hours later, she called her supervisor to tell him what happened.  The employer had a policy of termination for post abandonment and terminated the employee.  She claimed that she was discriminated against for a pregnancy disability, but only claimed she was having a difficult pregnancy. Because the pregnancy disability definition did not apply to the EDL, the court stated, in part, the employee did not demonstrate that she suffered from an applicable disability.

Action Items

  1. Review policies and procedures related to attendance and notification, as well as disability claims, for changes consistent with this ruling.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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