Arkansas Sex Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Arkansas Sex Discrimination: What you need to know

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (AR Code Sec. 16-123-101 et seq.). The law applies to all employers with nine or more employees.
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The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that an employer's refusal to grant additional sick leave to a pregnant employee and its subsequent termination of her employment did not constitute sex discrimination (Greenlee v. J.B. Hunt Transp. Servs., 2009 Ark. 506 (2009)). The court noted that sex discrimination under state law includes discrimination based on pregnancy, but concluded that the employer's reason for firing the employee was not discriminatory. The employer claimed the employee had not been employed long enough to be eligible for sick leave. It terminated her employment after her doctor prescribed 2 months of bed rest due to complications from her pregnancy. The evidence showed the employee had already exhausted 30 days of personal leave granted by the employer and that she was treated the same as similarly situated employees.
Private employers. The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender discrimination under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act (Island v. Buena Vista Resort, 352 Ark. 548 (2003)).
Public employers. All state agencies are required to disseminate information regarding the nature of sexual harassment and how it may be prevented in the workplace. A copy of the policy must be filed with the state Office of Personnel Management (OPM) (OPM Policies and Procedures Sec. 70.10). According to OPM, the policy should include a provision that protects the accuser from being required to solely ...

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