Special Delivery

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September 18, 2014

In an article titled "Special Delivery", the Economist's Democracy in America blog discusses the Young v. UPS pregnancy discrimintation case. The article both links to and quotes from legal Momentum's Amicus Curiae brief petitioning for a Writ of Certiorari in the case.

"The case concentrates on whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a law passed in 1978 that fortified employment protections for pregnant women under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, requires companies to accommodate women like Ms Young. The PDA prohibits employers from discriminating “because of” pregnancy and holds that pregnant women must not be treated differently from other employees who are “similar in their ability, or inability, to work.” UPS defends its accommodation policy as “pregnancy neutral.” It excludes women carrying a fetus just as surely as it excludes employees injured off-site or requesting a new assignment for some other reason. No “animus” toward pregnant women, UPS contends, motivates the policy.

"But Ms Young and her defenders find animus in the the omission and argue that the PDA requires more than neutrality. It mandates that employers offer benefits to pregnant women if those benefits are available to employees “similar in their ability or inability to work.” Since, as the amici note, “the vast majority of working women will become pregnant at least once during their careers” and “62 percent of women with a birth in the previous twelve months were in the labor force,” the Court’s decision could directly affect the lives of millions of American women."