Pregnant and Parenting Students
WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES
Schools that receive federal funds must not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, including a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination, or recovery therefrom. Schools must provide equal access to school programs and extracurricular activities to students who might be, are, or have been pregnant. Schools are required to treat pregnant and parenting students the same way they treat other students who are similarly able or unable to participate in school activities. Further, any rules concerning parental, family, or marital status may not apply differently based on sex. For example, universities cannot provide women with time to bond with or care for their children and not men. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibit schools and employers from penalizing students and employees because they need time off from work or school, or reasonable accommodations due to pregnancy, childbirth or caring for an infant. A pregnant employee or student may also be entitled to reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for serious health conditions arising from pregnancy or conditions that constitute a disability and arise from an aggravation of an existing impairment due to pregnancy.
A reasonable accommodation is a change in the academic environment or workplace that enables an employee/student who is pregnant or is caring for a newborn to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment or education.
WHAT TYPES OF ACCOMMODATIONS MAY I REQUEST?
Reasonable accommodations could include, but are not limited to:
- temporary parking in a closer location
- temporary access to elevators
- modified work schedule
- excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
- submitting classwork after a deadline missed due to pregnancy or childbirth
- providing alternatives to make up missed classwork
- rescheduling tests or exams
- access to lactation rooms
- additional breaks
- purchasing or modifying equipment and devices (chairs, desk, floor mats, etc.)
A pregnant student will be allowed to make up any work missed due to medically necessary absences for pregnancy. A student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work. The student will not be required to complete make up work until the student's medically-necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.
HOW DO I REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANCY?
Accommodation Request Process:
- The student/employee completes the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
- The student/employee confirms their Official Job Description and/or class schedule with the Office of Gender Equity & Title IX.
- The student/employee provides their healthcare provider with Official Job Description and/or class schedule and the Healthcare Provider Form.
- All forms are returned by fax to:
Division of Student Life
Office of Gender Equity & Title IX
Kent Student Center – Suite 250
Once the Office of Gender Equity & Title IX has received all the required documentation, a staff member will contact you and your direct supervisor/professor(s) to explain next steps and to begin the interactive process.
Complaint Resolution Process:
Pursuant to university policy 5-16.1, you have the option of appealing the accommodation determination if you believe the pregnancy accommodation process has not been followed or applied appropriately.
A student who has a chronic medical condition as a result of a pregnancy should request accommodations from Student Accessibility Services (SAS).