The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k), dictates that “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same” as other employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” The Act has two sections. The first section provides that employers can’t discriminate on the basis of pregnancy because it would be sex discrimination and the second section provides that “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes . . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability to work.” The second section of the law has been the source of repeated questions for employers and employees alike.
In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., a newly released 6-3 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court has provided a test detailing when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer that provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees to extend such accommodations to pregnant employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.
Peggy Young was a driver with UPS. When she became pregnant, her obstetrician advised her not to lift more than 20 pounds. Generally, UPS drivers were expected to carry packages of up to 70 pounds, but the company offered accommodations to those injured on the job; those with conditions recognized as Continue reading