Supreme Court Takes Up Workplace Rules for Pregnant Workers

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a discrimination lawsuit involving a former United Parcel Service (UPS) worker who was placed on unpaid leave after she became pregnant, a case which could clarify federal workplace protections for pregnant women.

After she became pregnant, Peggy Young was placed on temporary assignment by UPS, citing advice she had received from her doctor to avoid lifting heavy packages.

“I lost my health benefits. I lost my pension. And I lost my wages for seven months. And my disability benefits,” Young told The New York Times.

Young, who sued under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, was employed in Maryland as an “air driver,” a position that involved loading packages onto vehicles, transporting them, and then unloading them.

She acknowledged that an essential function of her position was the ability to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds, according to the UPS brief filed in October.

The Atlanta-based company did not place Young on light duty because use of that policy was reserved only for those injured on the job or considered disabled under federal disability rights law, according to Scotusblog.