California residents may be interested in a case involving a former UPS worker who says she was discriminated against for being pregnant. The alleged discrimination occurred in 2006 after her doctor said that she should lift no more than 20 pounds during the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy. After hearing this, the company put the woman on unpaid leave, which reportedly forced her to go on her husband’s insurance plan.
The woman claims that other workers with disabilities were put on light duty. However, the company claimed that it could not provide an accommodation for something such as pregnancy that occurred outside of the job. Her discrimination lawsuit is now in front of the Supreme Court, and oral arguments in the case are expected to begin in December. While light duty was not offered to pregnant workers in the past, the company recently announced that it would begin offering light duty to pregnant workers starting on Jan. 1.
However, UPS claims that it made a decision that was lawful at the time. It says that it changed its policy based on recommendations from the EEOC and that it was a good thing to do for its employees. If the woman wins her case, it may answer an outstanding legal question as to whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 forces companies to offer light duty for pregnant workers.
Workers who feel as if they have been discriminated against due to a disability may wish to pursue a workplace discrimination suit. An employment law attorney may be able to establish that a worker was placed on leave or terminated unlawfully due to a disability. If successful, the plaintiff may be eligible for compensation for lost wages and other damages.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Meet The Working Mother Taking Her Pregnancy Discrimination Case To The Supreme Court“, October 31, 2014