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Woman accuses UPS of violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Depending upon the type of work, a woman may not be able to continue to perform her job as normal during pregnancy. This could require a Florida employer to make reasonable concessions so that the woman may be able to work. A former driver for UPS alleges that she was not accommodated during her pregnancy and that the company violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

When the plaintiff became pregnant, she was instructed by her doctor to avoid lifting more than 20 pounds during the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy. She brought these restrictions to her employer so that she could work light duty, but her request was denied. According to her complaint, she was told that only three categories of workers would be given an accommodation: workers with conditions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, those injured at work and workers who lost their transportation certification. Since she was not under one of these categories, she was denied.

The plaintiff believes that because UPS offer accommodations in those situations, her request should also be granted. UPS stated that it complies with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. However, it was asserted that a woman should not be forced to choose between her job and her pregnancy.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff after the case had been dismissed by a lower court, and it was remanded for further proceedings consistent with the new ruling. In the meantime, UPS decided to voluntarily make changes to its policies so as to accommodate pregnant workers, though the aggrieved woman will still have her day in court to attempt to prove the company erred in denying her requested workplace accommodation. Women in Florida who feel that they have been victimized because they are pregnant may turn to the legal system for help. Based upon evidence of unlawful discrimination, they may be awarded lost wages and other monetary damages and even be reinstated into their former positions, if applicable.

Source: CNN, "Supreme Court says woman can sue UPS in pregnancy suit", Ariane de Vogue, March 25, 2015

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