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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers | UPS Facing Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

November 29th, 2014

It appears as though the Human Relations team of the United Parcel Service (UPS) has some explaining to do regarding a recent change in policy effective January 1, 2015.  The new policy states that UPS will allow their pregnant employees to have the option of choosing temporary light duty positions during their pregnancy.  This is the same policy that is in place for workers who are injured on the job.

The irony of the situation is that UPS is fighting against the terms of this very policy in the Supreme Court case of Young vs. UPS.  Former UPS driver, Peggy Young of Landover, Maryland, was denied temporary light duty after she became pregnant and her doctor recommended that she not lift heavy boxes until after she delivered her baby and was back on the job.  The only thing her employer offered her as an alternative was to take a leave of absence.

Attorneys for Young and workers’ rights advocates are baffled about the perceived hypocrisy of the situation.   UPS has secured legal representation to defend their position of denying Young’s request, yet the new policy is a direct contradiction of the actions against Young.  In short, the policy change emphasizes the injustice of its own position in the case.

UPS contends that their denial to accommodate Young was lawful at the time.  In reality, this case demonstrates that the company intends to accommodate pregnant workers in the future, but do not want to compensate Young for the unfair treatment she received when employed by UPS.  It is not going unnoticed that this policy change is coming as more and more support for Young pours in from women’s rights groups, business groups and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was intended to keep pregnant workers from being fired, different courts have interpreted the document in different ways.  UPS originally maintained that they only needed to give employees different accommodations if they had been injured while at work.  Although pregnancy caused temporary back trouble and other challenges, it does not qualify as a work injury, so the employer denied light duty.

There is a growing number of pregnancy discrimination cases being filed with the EEOC.  The people hardest hit are those workers in traditional male-dominated positions or those in low paying or physically demanding jobs.

The decision the Supreme Court makes in the Young case will affect other companies throughout the country.  At this point in time, many large companies are not in jurisdictions that require pregnancy accommodations.  Several states are now beginning to pass laws to protect the rights of expectant mothers.

Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates support the rights of pregnant mothers throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Philadelphia Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocate for Fair Treatment of all Workers

If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination in Philadelphia, contact the experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers of Sidney L. Gold & Associates. We represent employees throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Call our Philadelphia law offices today at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.

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