Monday, May 8, 2017

Hot Topic: Accommodating Pregnancy in the Workplace

Women today are more likely to work while pregnant according to data collected by the Pew Research Center[1] . Women tend to work longer into their pregnancy and return to work sooner as well.

With this information in mind, it is important for companies and their HR departments to be ready when the time to accommodate a pregnant employee comes about. While pregnancy can be a wonderful time in a woman's life, it can also present a number of challenges in the workplace.

For example, fatigue, sickness, or pain may impact attendance. Restrictions in lifting, standing, or bending may affect the ability to meet the physical demands of a job. Some women may need to drink and eat more frequently or wear more comfortable clothing that may not adhere to certain policies. Back pain, high blood pressure, dehydration and even depression are other examples of limitations that can result from pregnancy-related complications.

The more knowledge and understanding of these possible limitations will better your HR department and allow the company to avoid any discriminations or retaliations.


There are two federal laws that may require an employer to accommodate a pregnant worker: the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The PDA[2]  is a federal statute that protects pregnant workers and requires covered employers to make job-related modifications for pregnant employees. The PDA forbids employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law requires employers to treat a pregnant employee who is temporarily unable to perform or is limited in performing, the functions of her job because of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition in the same manner as it treats other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.

The ADA[3]  requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, so long as doing so does not impose an undue hardship on the employer. Although pregnancy alone is not a disability under the ADA, many pregnancy-related conditions are disabilities that an employer may have to accommodate under the ADA.

Both is these legislations can also be accompanied by addition laws, depending on the state. Some choose to go above and beyond the requirements of federal law by providing accommodations for as long as the employee needs, for as long as the employer can withstand hardship in the employee's absence. For example, the state of California considers pregnancy a temporary disability, as well as any illness or injury resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.As such, an individual is deemed disabled on any day in which, because of her physical or mental condition, she is unable to perform her regular or customary work.

Ways to Accommodate

There are a number of ways employers can accommodate pregnant or nursing workers. HR should be at the forefront of these decisions, working to make adjustments when needed.

An example of this could be if a pregnant employee verbalizes that she’s having trouble, HR should have her discuss her job description with her doctor, focusing on the tasks affecting her pregnancy and accommodations that might help. This way communication is established and modifications can be made based on each woman’s personal need.

More examples of such accommodations include:

      Allow for longer or more frequent work breaks to use the restroom or move her workstation closer to the restroom if pregnant employee is experiencing nausea and/or vomiting symptoms
      Reduce or eliminate physical exertion and workplace stress if she is experiencing fatigue
      Modify policy to allow eating/drinking at workstation/around facility to increase caloric intake and keep hydrated
      Allow work from home or limit overtime
      Allow a flexible or reduced work schedule
      Provide a flexible chair or a foot rest
      Limit lifting, bending, reaching, pushing, and pulling
      Modify dress code
      Allow telephone calls during work hours to healthcare providers and others for needed support

Also consider that employers don’t want managers to overstep by introducing an accommodation when it’s not necessary, which could be perceived as showing bias against the employee’s ability based solely on her pregnancy. However, ignoring someone who is clearly having difficulty performing isn’t advised, either. Find a balance within your HR department. One of the best ways to find this balance is to ask ‘What would the process be if the employee had a back injury or needed adjustments to her work schedule for cancer treatments?” Then, treat pregnancy accommodations the same way. Once the accommodation is implemented, it’s important to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.

Be sure to stay updated on HR news and updates by following VertiSource HR® on Facebook and Twitter!

Kailey Brennan, VertiSource HR Blogger®

Monday, May 1, 2017

Move and Grow Faster with VertiSource HR®’s Cloud

If you have been following us on social media, you have noticed we have been abuzz about our new automated platform, the VertiSource HR® Cloud.

VertiSource HR® Cloud is a 100% web based HR software that couples with our HR services, here at VertiSource HR®. Our goal is to provide a simplified version of HR strategies so that you can focus on the growth and development of your business. This service will save you countless hours every week by delivering industry-leading payroll, benefits, hiring and more, all with the help of our HR experts.

Here are some of VertiSource HR® Cloud’s top features that we are most excited about:

Fast and Efficient Payroll

This feature allows you to execute and manage your payroll on time. All your data is automatically integrated with other VertiSource HR® modules, so you don’t have to rekey anything from one system to another.
You can quickly review timesheets, process your payrolls, and even see payroll status in real-time.
Employees can also view payroll and benefits information from any device, which can save you a great deal of time, as well as open the lines of communication with your staff.
Access to payroll data is granted to individuals in your organization as needed, and you can control what specific data, fields, and reports each individual can see.

Bonus Feature: Your payroll can include your brand logos on checks, so your employees have a consistent experience.


The Hiring module reduces the time it takes to hire new employees by 30% or more. It can help expand your candidate pool by posting jobs where candidates are looking for relevant positions.
With this feature, you can streamline posting jobs online, with integrations with dozens of job boards and social networks to post and advertise job listings, including: Indeed, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Twitter, and Facebook.
Next, you can receive resumes and sort through potential applicants, even schedule interviews.
Once you have found the ideal candidate, you can streamline onboarding, because his or her information will already be in the system, flowing right through to payroll and benefits.

Speedy Onboarding

Once you have found the right candidate, VertiSource HR® Cloud makes it easy to complete the onboarding process. This module can capture employee demographic information, federal, state and local tax filing forms. With a complete set of digital and online forms combined with electronic signature functionality, new hires can get started fast with complete, accurate records and data.

All forms and documents associated with Onboarding and Enrollment are securely tracked and stored.

Employee Friendly

Your employees can quickly view payroll, benefits and HR information such as earning statements and time off request with the employee Self Service portal. This easy-to-use platform is compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop so your employees can access the information they need when they need it.

Bonus Feature: The Self Service portal is easily customizable to represent your brand, including colors, and even a custom background.

Visit us at today to speak with a representative about this exciting new service! Move and grow your business, fast and efficiently with VertiSource HR®.

Kailey Brennan, VertiSource HR® Blogger