- Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
- Rights of Pregnant Women
- Authored Amicus Brief
Whether the history and Congressional Intent of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnant women the same as other temporarily disabled workers.
Summary of the Case
The Appellant in this case is a driver for United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS). She had asked UPS for a “light duty” assignment after her doctor recommended that she not lift more than twenty pounds while pregnant. UPS denied her request, even though it had a practice of giving light duty assignments to other employees who were temporarily unable to perform their jobs. As a result of UPS’s denial, Young was forced to take unpaid leave and lost her medical coverage for the period during which she gave birth, until she was able to return to work at UPS two months later. The district court ruled that UPS did not discriminate against Young in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq., as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), Pub. L. No. 95-555, 92 Stat. 2076, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (2006), because its policy is based on “gender-neutral,” “pregnancy-blind” criteria, such as whether an employee was injured on the job or off the job.
Our Role in the Case
We co-authored an amicus brief with other women's rights and civil rights organizations aguing that the PDA’s history and Congressional intent was to overcome sex-role stereotypes employers have held that pregnant women cannot and should not work. Through the PDA, Congress requires employers to treat pregnant women the same as other temporarily disabled workers—those covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
As we urged in the brief, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari on June 27, 2014.