TAP No. 62: Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodations 


This policy applies to all University employees, including part-time employees, who are pregnant; experience pregnancy-related conditions and events; and partners of a person who is pregnant or affected by such event.


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on and outline expectations related to the City of Pittsburgh's  Code on Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodations. The policy also prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and creates a process for making reasonable accommodation requests related to pregnant employees allowing them to perform the essential functions of their job.

I. Overview

Duquesne University is committed to compliance with the requirements set forth in Article V, Chapter 659, Section 659.02 of the Pittsburgh City Code adopted in 2019. Duquesne University does not discriminate against employees or applicants because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions or events that are related to, or caused by pregnancy or childbirth (whether they occur before, during or after pregnancy or childbirth). This policy further enhances already existing pregnancy accommodations governed by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

II. Definitions

Childbirth: Labor or childbirth, whether or not it results in a live birth.

Pregnancy: The state of being pregnant, including the partner of a pregnant person, seeking to become pregnant and related symptoms of pregnancy.

Related medical condition or event: Any medical condition and events that are related to or caused by pregnancy or childbirth, which can occur before, during, or after the gestation period, or after childbirth, whether or not it results in a live birth, including, being the partner of a person affected by any such related medical condition or event.

Partner: This applies broadly to mean a person of any gender with whom a pregnant person or person with a related medical condition has a relationship of mutual emotional and/or physical support, and does not require a marital or domestic relationship.

III. Accommodations for Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Related Events

Employees who need a temporary change to how, when, or where they work due to pregnancy or related medical conditions may request an accommodation under this policy. This includes the partner of a person who is pregnant or affected by a related medical condition. Duquesne University will approve such a request so long as the accommodation requested is reasonable to enable the employee to perform the essential duties of the employee's job and will not create an undue hardship for the University. Duquesne University will determine on a case-by-case basis whether a requested accommodation is reasonable or would create an undue hardship after considering the nature of the accommodation. Possible forms of accommodations may include, without limitation; modified work schedules; breaks; modified duties; modifications to work areas; reduced hours; and leave.

For partners granted leave as an accommodation for pregnancy, generally, the leave will be unpaid or the employee may request vacation time. However, under some circumstances, paid family sick leave may apply.

IV. Procedure for Requesting an Accommodation

  1. For requests to flex schedules (e.g., arriving late or leaving early to attend medical appointments), employees should work with their immediate supervisor, providing as much advance notice as possible.
  2. For leave requests and requests to work remotely, employees should notify their immediate Supervisor and the Disability Claims Manager in the Office of Human Resources orally or in writing.
  3. For other accommodation requests, employees should notify their immediate Supervisor and the Office of Disability Services orally or in writing. The request for an accommodation should include an explanation as to the reason for the accommodation, which may include any physical limitations or risks faced performing a job, a description of the requested accommodation, the date of the start of the anticipated accommodation, and the expected duration of the accommodation. If an employee requests a change in accommodations due to changing medical conditions, the employee should again initiate the request process under this policy. The Supervisor must consult with the Office of Disability Services as appropriate, who will promptly contact the employee and engage in an interactive process to determine whether the requested accommodation can be met reasonably and effectively. Upon review of the request, the Employee will be advised in writing if a reasonable accommodation has been granted.
  4. Under certain circumstances, the University will initiate the interactive process without a request from an employee, including when the University learns, either directly from the employee or indirectly through observation that the employee or partner is experiencing issues with their performance or conduct at work related to the employee's or their partner's pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
  5. Medical Documentation

    If an employee requests time off from work, including time for medical appointments, a request to work from home, on either an intermittent or longer-term basis, or leave of absence, the University may request medical documentation or confirmation of the employee's or their partner's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. Any medical documentation requested shall be held in the strictest confidence and kept separate from personnel records by either the Office of Disability Services, or the Disability Claims Manager's office.
    Any request to work from home will be determined in accordance with Duquesne University's telework policy. Such requests will require individualized assessments regarding what expected job duties are to be performed from home.

    All pregnancy-related leave requests will be governed under the Universities policies for sick leave, family and medical leave, disability leave, short-term disability leave, and personal leave of absence. Refer to TAP No. 23: Leaves of Absence: Family and Medical Leave, Unpaid Sick and Personal Leave.
  6. Other Documentation

    If an employee, who is the partner of a pregnant individual, requests time off from work to attend an appointment with the pregnant individual, the employee must provide appropriate documentation confirming that they attended an appointment with the pregnant individual. The documentation does not have to confirm the pregnancy or childbirth, or confirm or describe the related medical condition, which was the basis of the appointment. However, if it is believed that the documentation provided is insufficient, the employee will be given the opportunity to provide additional documentation before such request is denied.

VI. Ending an Accommodation

For leave accommodations, the employee should notify their Supervisor and the Disability Claims Manager of the expected date to return to work and provide a medical release to return to work to their original position with the ability to perform their essential job duties in accordance with the policies governing leaves of absence.

For all other approved pregnancy accommodations, the employee should immediately notify his/her supervisor and the Office of Disability Services when the accommodation is no longer necessary. In cases where an employee has been placed into an alternate position, the employee will be returned to their same position prior to the implementation of the accommodation, if still available, or to, a substantially equivalent position.

VII. Funding

Employee accommodations, other than leaves of absence, are required to be funded by the employee's department or division.

VIII. Retaliation

Duquesne University will not retaliate or tolerate retaliation against an employee because the employee requests accommodations under this policy, makes a complaint of discrimination, files a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination or expresses an intent to file such a complaint, or participates in an investigation or proceeding related to a complaint of discrimination. An employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to prohibited discrimination or retaliation should promptly report such concerns to their supervisor, and to the Office of Anti-discrimination.

IX. Related Information

TAP No. 23: Leaves of Absence: Family and Medical Leave, Unpaid Sick and Personal Leave

TAP No. 56: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

Article V, Chapter 659, Section 659.02 of the Pittsburgh City Code, Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations

X. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case by case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

XI. History

This policy was updated in November of 2020.

XII. Ownership of Policy

Office of Human Resources.