LEGAL MOMENTUM URGES SUPREME COURT TO CONFIRM PREGNANT WORKERS’ RIGHT TO WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS IN YOUNG V. UPS

LEGAL MOMENTUM URGES SUPREME COURT TO CONFIRM PREGNANT WORKERS’ RIGHT TO WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS IN YOUNG V. UPS

Date: 
December 3, 2014
Media Contact: 

Jean Gazis
212-413-7558
jgazis@legalmomentum.org

Jelena Kolic
212-413-7522
jkolic@legalmomentum.org

New York, NY, December 3, 2014—Today the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of Young v. UPS, and will decide whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers when such accommodations are already available to workers under other circumstances. Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, has filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, continuing its longstanding advocacy for pregnant workers and women in non-traditional occupations.

Legal Momentum has argued in support of Ms. Young all along, filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in March, 2012 and a second brief in support of Young’s efforts to persuade the Supreme Court to take her case. The Court accepted the case on July 1, and hears oral arguments today. A decision is not expected until early 2015.

Carol Robles-Román, President and CEO of Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and former New York City Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs and Counsel to Michael Bloomberg, said “Federal law clearly mandates employers to accommodate pregnant women on the same terms as everyone else. We hope the Court will do the right thing and send a clear message that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act means exactly what it says.”

Peggy Young, the woman at the center of Young v. UPS, was employed by UPS as an airmail delivery driver when she became pregnant in 2006. She asked for a “light duty” assignment after her doctor recommended that she not lift more than 20 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. Young was forced to take unpaid leave and lost her wages and medical coverage for the period during which she gave birth.

The diversity of the organizations—ranging from business groups to unions to anti-abortion groups—that have joined Legal Momentum in filing Amicus Curiae briefs in support of the petitioner demonstrates how important reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers are to all Americans in order to achieve equality in employment for women and strengthen families and businesses.

Legal Momentum’s brief, Brief  of  Law  Professors  and  Women’s  and Civil Rights Organizations As Amici Curiae in Support  of  Petitioner, urges the Supreme Court to rule in Young’s favor since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers to the same extent that the employer accommodates any of its other workers. If the Court allows employers to continue to selectively deny accommodations to pregnant women as UPS has done, low-wage women and women in traditionally male-dominated occupations will become even more vulnerable to workplace discrimination. The full text of the brief can be found at Legal Momentum’s website at https://www.legalmomentum.org/legal-cases/young-v-ups-supreme-court.

About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women across the nation by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence, and equality under the law. Successful initiatives include judicial education programs on the realities of sexual assault, domestic violence, and their intersection; successful advocacy for the Violence Against Women Act and for expanded protections for Native American and other survivors of violence in its 2013 reauthorization; and representing women who have been subjected to workplace pregnancy and gender discrimination with precedent-setting litigation. For more information, visit www.legalmomentum.org.

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