USSC Will Review the Scope of Pregnancy Discrimination Act

In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the Fourth Circuit held that a company policy that provided light duty work to certain employees, but not pregnant employees, did not qualify as direct evidence of a discriminatory policy or practice forbidden by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which provides that "women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes…as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work." The court also held that no inference of discrimination under the Act may be drawn based on the employer's refusal to accommodate the pregnant employee and prevention of the employee from returning to work. Only July 1, the United States Court granted certiorari to review this holding, which involves, as stated in the petitioner's amicus brief, the issue of "whether, and in what circumstances, an employer that provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations must provide comparable work accommodations to pregnant employees who are 'similar in their ability or inability to work.'"

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