Infertility Issues in the Workplace

Protections for pregnant employees has significantly increased in the wake of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination (updated June 25, 2015) and the United States Supreme Court decision in Young v. United Parcel Services, Inc., — U.S. —, 135 S.Ct. 1338 (2015). But what about employees who are not yet pregnant but are instead struggling to conceive a child? Employees turning to assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) may require time away from work for things such as diagnostic testing, blood draws, ultrasounds and doctor appointments, as well as for other, more involved medical or surgical procedures.

Employers are increasingly seeking guidance regarding the legal requirements for employees seeking time off for infertility treatment or ART. Unlike pregnancy, infertility affects both men and women. While the law is still developing in this area, there are numerous statutes that need to be considered when deciding whether an employee may be entitled to time off for reasons relating to infertility treatments.