On February 4, 2021, the Arizona Governor signed House Bill 2045 (H.B. 2045) into law, amending the state’s Civil Rights Act (CRA) to prohibit employers from discrimination based on pregnancy or childbirth. The amendment is expected to take effect on or about July 24, 2021.
The CRA applies to employers who employ 15 or more employees nationwide and prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, genetic testing, disability, and retaliation. H.B. 2045 will expand the definition of discrimination “because of sex” and “on the basis of sex” in the CRA to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In addition, the amendment made explicit that that women who are affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions are to be treated the same as other employees who are not affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs.
While this amendment will likely not have an impact on Arizona employers that already comply with federal protections with respect to pregnancy and disability discrimination, it is notable that state law now explicitly includes these protections. This will allow the Arizona Attorney General the ability to investigate and enforce these protections for employees under state law.
Given this development, Arizona employers are encouraged to review the content of their existing policies and practices to ensure compliance with H.B. 2045. Sequoia One clients reach out to their dedicated HR Business Partner, or connect with them in HRX, for further assistance.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2021 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved