Pregnancy Discrimination Case Reaches Supreme Court

By Nina Martin, ProPublica – Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments in yet another blockbuster case at the intersection of sex discrimination, workplace law and reproductive justice. The central issue in Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service is simple enough: to what extent does the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 require employers to accommodate the health needs of pregnant women? But the potential repercussions of the gender rights case could be both complex and wide-ranging. Young, a one-time delivery truck driver for UPS, asked in 2006 only that, since she was pregnant, she be excused from lifting anything over 20 pounds, per her doctor’s orders. But Young’s job description required her to sometimes lug up to 70 pounds, and UPS argued that assigning her to “light” duty would amount to special — i.e., unfairly favorable —treatment. The company said its policy was only to accommodate people...

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