The Supreme Court has just decided to hear argument concerning an significant
question affecting many women across the nation: under what circumstances
should an employer be required to provide “reasonable accommodations”
to a pregnant employee?
Generally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans
with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) set forth that employers
must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with
disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is an individual
with any medical, physiological, or psychiatric condition that substantially
limits a major life activity.
In the case going before the Supreme Court,
Young v. UPS, a pregnant United Parcel Service worker, Peggy Young, requested an accommodation
that she not be required to lift heavy packages. Rather than providing
the accommodation, her boss told her to take unpaid leave. She has asserted
that pregnant women should be treated the same as others with short-term
disabilities, and that UPS should have found alternative work for her.
If you have questions about the ADA/ADAAA or require that your employer
provide a reasonable accommodation, consulting with a knowledgeable
Atlanta employment discrimination attorney is a good idea to provide you with skilled guidance concerning your next steps.
In the petition before the Supreme Court, Young argues that pursuant to
the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, pregnant women should be treated
the same as others with short-term disabilities and UPS should have found
light duty work for her. For its part, UPS argues that its policy, which
allows accommodations (or “light duty” assignments) for employees
injured on the job, employees with a disability as defined by the Americans
with Disabilities Act, and injured employees ineligible for commercial
driver’s licenses, is “pregnancy blind” and does not
Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination occurs more regularly than it should,
and the denial of workplace accommodations to pregnant workers in circumstances
in which other employees receive them is a common fact pattern. In the
last 10 years, the EEOC has filed more than 260 pregnancy discrimination lawsuits.
The lower court found in favor of UPS, but now the Supreme Court will hear
argument and weigh in on this critical matter.
For more information or believe you have suffered pregnancy discrimination
or any other type of employment discrimination, we urge you to contact the top
Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLP for an immediate consultation.