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Office of Human Resources

Managing Pregnancy, Birth and Related Medical Conditions

As a supervisor, you should be aware of the various federal and state regulations that require Clemson University to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with known limitations arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

The University provides various accommodations and resources to employees under several federal and state regulations like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Paid Parental Leave (PPL), and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP) Act.

This page offers resources and training to assist you in the accommodation process, should one of your employees express the need for an accommodation.

Who Has Pregnancy Accommodations Rights?

As a supervisor, you should be aware of the various federal and state regulations that require Clemson University to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with known limitations arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. A condition does not need to meet the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Qualified” means an employee or applicant can perform the “essential functions” of a job with or without a reasonable accommodation, OR they cannot perform these essential functions, but that inability is temporary, they could perform them in the near future and the inability to perform those functions can be reasonably accommodated.

  • Examples of Related Medical Conditions
    • loss of pregnancy;
    • lactation and conditions related to lactation;
    • menstruation;
    • postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis;
    • vaginal bleeding;
    • preeclampsia;
    • pelvic prolapse;
    • preterm labor;
    • ectopic pregnancy;
    • gestational diabetes; cesarean or perineal wound infection;
    • maternal cardiometabolic disease;
    • endometriosis;
    • changes in hormone levels;
    • recovery from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition

    This list is not exhaustive. The PWFA defines “related medical conditions” as medical conditions that relate to pregnancy or childbirth and specifies that to be a related medical condition, the medical condition need not be caused solely, originally or substantially by pregnancy or childbirth.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A “reasonable accommodation” is a change in the work environment or the way things are usually done at work. Reasonable accommodations may differ between employees and employees may need different accommodations at different times during the pregnancy or after childbirth.

  • Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
    • Additional, longer, or more flexible breaks to drink water, eat, rest, or use the restroom;
    • Changing food or drink policies to allow for a water bottle or food;
    • Changing equipment, devices, or workstations, such as providing a stool to sit on, or a way to do work while standing;
    • Changing a uniform or dress code or providing safety equipment that fits;
    • Changing a work schedule, such as having shorter hours, part-time work, or a later start time;
    • Telework;
    • Temporary reassignment;
    • Temporary suspension of one or more essential functions of a job;
    • Leave for health care appointments;
    • Light duty or help with lifting or other manual labor; or
    • Leave to recover from childbirth or other medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

What To Do If An Employee Requests An Accommodation?

The process below lays out the steps you should take to facilitate an accommodation for an employee. If you have any questions regarding this process, fill out the Pregnancy-Related Accommodation Support Form.

  • Your employee has requested an accommodation. Begin the "Interactive Process."

    The accommodation process begins when the University is made aware of the need for an accommodation, whether by the employee themselves or the employee’s representative (family member, healthcare professional or someone aware of the employee’s need). Requests for accommodations can be made to a manager, supervisor, someone with supervisory authority, an Office of Human Resources representative, an Office of Access Compliance and Education representative, or someone who directs the employee’s tasks.

    You cannot require the employee to fill out a form or submit their request in writing. Any conversation, including a spoken one, is enough to start the interactive process.

    If an employee notifies you of the need for an accommodation, you must engage in an “interactive process” with the individual. This means you must communicate with the employee about the known limitation and the change needed at work.

  • Review the request and respond promptly.

    Respond promptly to this request. If it does not cause an undue hardship, you should generally provide a reasonable accommodation – either what the employee requests or another effective accommodation. If a requested accommodation is one of the four “predictable assessments” listed below, in virtually all cases, you must allow the request:

    • allowing an employee to carry or keep water near and drink, as needed;
    • allowing an employee to take additional restroom breaks, as needed;
    • allowing an employee whose work requires standing to sit and whose work requires sitting to stand, as needed;
    • allowing an employee to take breaks to eat and drink, as needed.

    You should not ask for medical documentation or ask about medical conditions. Only discuss the limitations of the employee’s essential functions.

    If you need assistance making this assessment, ask for help. If you have questions, or feel the accommodation may cause an “undue hardship,” fill out the Pregnancy-Related Accommodation Support Form.

  • Document the accommodation.

    You must document the accommodation you provided, share it with the employee and save it for your records. When documenting the provided accommodation, include the requested start and end date of the accommodation (if known), the employee's name and the accommodation provided.

NOTICE: Treat pregnancy or related conditions as any other temporary medical conditions for all job-related purposes, including commencement, duration and extensions of leave, payment of disability income; accrual of seniority and any other benefit or service; and reinstatement; and under any fringe benefit offered to employees by virtues of employment.

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of current, potential, or past pregnancy or related conditions. This includes a prohibition against sex discrimination and sex-based sex harassment as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Assistant Vice President for Equity Compliance and the Title IX Coordinator. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, phone number is 864.656.3181, and email address is

Office of Human Resources
Office of Human Resources | 108 Perimeter Rd, Clemson, SC 29634