'No-Fault' Attendance Policies Penalize Pregnant, Sick Workers
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit charging that AT&T Mobility’s no-fault attendance policies for retail employees violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, according to an article on the ACLU website.
No-fault policies are especially common in low-wage fields, like health care and retail, and in higher-wage, unionized fields, such as construction, janitorial services, and transportation.
No-fault policies, also known as “maximum leave” or “absence control” policies, have been growing in popularity among employers. A 2010 survey of more than 1,000 human resources professionals found that 40 percent of their employers relied on some form of “absence control.” But their potential for violating employees’ civil rights has been recognized from the start, the article said.
The Department of Labor cautioned in 1993 against companies using a no-fault policy to penalize employees for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)-qualifying.
The Labor Department continues to warn employers against assessing points for FMLA-qualifying leave — including “intermittent leave,” which can be as short as a day or even an hour.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers it a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to assign points for tardiness or absence attributable to an employee’s disability, unless permitting the leave would pose an undue hardship to the employer.
The ACLU lawsuit against AT&T Mobility appears to be the first of its kind: a class-action lawsuit challenging a company-wide no-fault policy on behalf of pregnant workers.
Read the full article here.
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