Two Pending Legislative Items-Pregnancy Accommodation/Credit Reports
There are two new pieces of pending legislation that could impact employers. The first, and pretty much consistent with current law, the employer can ask for a “Medical Certification” regarding a reasonable accommodation due to pregnancy. The new law appears to permit such certification for: The employee is disabled because of pregnancy; it is medically advisable for the employee to be transferred to a less strenuous or hazardous position or duties or otherwise reasonably accommodation.
It is also important to understand what is meant by a “Reasonable Accommodation.”
1. Modifying work practices;
2. Modifying work duties;
3. Modifying work schedules to permit earlier or later hours;
4. Providing more frequent rest breaks;
5. providing a rest area;
6. Modifying lifting requirements; and
7. Allowing an employee to sit rather than stand or otherwise alter her physical work requirements.
The above are being proposed which in my opinion is long overdue. Employers in the past had to be careful until the employee asked for the accommodation. This would give the employer an opportunity to ask or accommodate a pregnant employee without running the risk of violating state or federal guidelines. I will keep you posted.
The second issue-Employers using credit reports for employment purposes.
Under the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, an employer cannot pull a credit report on an applicant. Yes, I know, some employers do it through their third party background check company. I have always expressed this was not a good policy even though the applicant signs off that they are consenting to it. Why wouldn’t he or she? They are trying to get a job. Arguably they could later argue they were under duress when they signed off on it. Anyway, the new proposed legislation would prohibit employers, with the exception of financial institutions, from obtaining a consumer credit report for employment purposes.
There are two exceptions. If the information is substantially job related, meaning that the position of the person for whom the report is sought has access to money, or other assets, or confidential information; and the second; a person is being hired for a managerial position.
I will keep you posted if these proposed laws are passed.
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