Court’s decision in Young v. UPS will have a significant impact on millions of working women and their families
(PRESS RELEASE) Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving a former UPS delivery driver who was forced to take unpaid leave and lose her health benefits when her employer refused to accommodate her doctor’s orders to avoid heavy lifting while pregnant.
In the case, Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service, Young argues that in denying her the same light duty accommodations the company offered to other individuals—such as those with disabilities, on-the-job injuries, and even those who lost their driving privileges from DUI charges—UPS violated the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, which says discriminating against pregnant workers amounts to sex discrimination.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Ms. Young’s case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court ruling that UPS did not violate the PDA.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“An employer should never force a woman to make the impossible choice between the health of her pregnancy and her livelihood.
“For 30 years, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act has guaranteed that pregnant women receive equal treatment on the job. The Supreme Court needs to make clear that workers who need temporary job accommodations, whether due to pregnancy or injuries, will be treated the same.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights also calls on members of Congress to immediately pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a federal bill that would prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace and help ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women who want to continue working and provide for their families.
“The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is an important step toward protecting the health and economic security of working women and their families in the U.S., and we strongly urge every member of Congress to support this common sense policy,” said Northup.
The Center for Reproductive Rights opposes any discrimination against pregnant women and fights for the human rights of, and safe maternal health care for, women in the U.S. and around the globe. In recent years the Center has advocated for fair treatment of pregnant immigrant women in U.S. detention centers, exposed severe disparities Black women face when seeking quality maternal health care in the South, and fought for justice on behalf of women in Latin America and Africa who have received unfair and discriminatory treatment when accessing pregnancy care.