The EEOC has published guidance that providing paid maternity-only leave related to mother’s recovery does not violate Title VII. But does the policy raise the possibility of paid leave as a reasonable accommodation for a qualified individual with a disability?
By linking the leave to the mother’s recovery, the leave is based on a physical impairment. If paid maternity leave is linked to a disability, then employers may not be able to deny similar paid leave as a reasonable accommodation to other qualified individuals with a disability. Nothing in the ADA allows employers to favor one type of disability over another by providing better accommodation or benefits. Employer’s attorneys need to be mindful when advising clients on paid maternity leave policies.
If you have questions about North Carolina employment law, please contact Tracy Stroud at Colombo Kitchin Attorneys at 252-321-2020.