6 Things You Should Know About Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy Discrimination 2

6 Things You Should Know About Pregnancy Discrimination

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court began to hear arguments in the case of Young v. the United Parcel Service: A woman named Peggy Young is suing UPS for violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, saying she temporarily lost her job as a UPS driver once the company found out she was pregnant.

What’s the Case About? 

Young had been with UPS for four years and worked an early morning shift delivering envelopes and small parcels at the airport. When she became pregnant, her doctor told her to make sure not to lift packages over 20 lbs, a task that Young rarely did and which her colleagues offered to help with should the situation arise.

UPS, however, said that Young was no longer able to perform her job and thus placed her on unpaid leave for the duration of her pregnancy. “I lost my health benefits,” she told The New York Times. “I lost my pension. And I lost my wages for seven months. And my disability benefits.”.

What’s So Complicated About This Situation?

Though UPS does give “light duty” – jobs that do not necessarily involve lifting or even driving to those injured on the job, legally disabled, or even those who had their licenses suspended due to drunk driving convictions, the company didn’t extend a similar offer to Young. Their reasoning: The the Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected.”

Though the law was clearly passed to protect pregnant women from on-the-job discrimination, UPS’s interpretation essentially claims that by placing Young on leave, they were simply treating her like anyone else who couldn’t perform their job.

What Have The Supreme Court Justices Said So Far? 

The members of the Supreme Court had lots of questions for counsel on both sides of this case on Wednesday, trying to dig deeper and get to the heart of what the intention of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was when it was first passed in 1978. (A single semi-colon in the original act was even debated.)

According to SCOTUSblog, some of the questions asked yesterday included:

– Which UPS employees get assigned to light duty to accommodate their condition?

– How large a part of the company payroll is entitled to that treatment?

– Are there any other conditions but pregnancy that put a worker outside that group, and how does UPS justify the differences?”

Furthermore, the Court posed a series of hypotheticals to understand the full extent to which UPS chooses to differentiate various types of employees, such as “extra pay for driving a hazardous delivery route, a limo ride to work for the upper echelon, and a worker who falls off an all-terrain vehicle on a weekend away from work.”

Each example was a factual inquiry, and, supposedly, the answer to each would clarify when discrimination exists or does not exist.

What Does This Mean For All Working Women? 

Young v UPS provokes important questions about the unique physical challenges women face in the workplace. A report issued by the National Women’s Law Center in June 2013 highlights some of the realities facing pregnant women, specifically in the workforce: two-thirds of first-time mothers work during their pregnancies; 80% of pregnant women will work into the last month of their pregnancy; the average cost of prenatal care and delivery is $7500 – a hefty expense for any individual or family to incur out-of-pocket should a woman suddenly find herself out of a job because of her pregnancy.

What’s The Weirdest Thing About The Case? 

The Young case has garnered extra attention for the way in which it has united both pro-choice and pro-life advocates around a single issue, insisting that women should not be penalized for becoming pregnant and bringing a child into the world. Because despite the opinions held by both sides on what constitutes life and the choices a woman has around her own body, a woman’s right to work shouldn’t have to be a choice of any kind.

What’s The Takeaway? 

Women who want to work should be able to: Pregnant women, women who are mothers, women who are caring for elderly parents, women who are single or just beginning their careers. All women in this country should be entitled to the right to work if they want to – and be paid equally and have the same opportunities available to them as their male peers.

If you have any questions about discrimination, please contact our Firm: www.LineschFirm.com

Article By: Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, Visit: www.yahoo.com