Light Duty Only for On the Job Injuries may be a Thing of the Past

March 5th, 2015 by JBWK

Submitted by
Elizabeth S. Olcott

Employers should keep an eye out for a ruling from the United States Supreme Court concerning pregnancy in the workplace and the potential for discrimination. In December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Young v. UPS, in which the Plaintiff argued that she was the victim of gender and sex-based discrimination because of her pregnancy. Young claimed violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act because she was placed on an unpaid leave of absence due to her inability to lift at least 70 pounds during her pregnancy.

In the lower courts, UPS argued that it did not owe Young any accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act because pregnancy is not a disability.

The courts agreed with UPS and dismissed Young’s claims under the ADA. However, the Supreme Court has agreed to determine whether employer’s that provide accommodations to non-pregnant employees with limitations due to injury or other causes are required to provide the same accommodations to pregnant employees. Look out for an update on our blog once the Supreme Court hands down its opinion.

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