The New York Times has an article about the case before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding a UPS employee who was placed on unpaid leave because she was pregnant. Peggy Young was denied accommodations that would have enabled her to work despite a heavy-lifting restriction recommended by her doctor. Young previously sued UPS for violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978--losing twice in district court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which both affirmed UPS' "pregnancy-blind" policy. The ACLU of Illinois recently helped to draft and successfully pass legislation that requires employers in the state to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers. The case before the Supreme Court is expected to be heard this week.
The case, Young v. United Parcel Service, No. 12-1226, turns on the language of the pregnancy law. It requires employers to treat “women affected by pregnancy” the same as “other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.”
There is no dispute that some UPS workers were offered accommodations. What the two sides disagree about is whether the law required Ms. Young to be treated the same way.