Eight years ago, Peggy Young lost her medical coverage after she was forced to take an extended leave of absence from her job at UPS, because UPS would not accommodate her pregnancy-related weight-lifting restriction (her doctor limited her to lifting no more than 10-20 pounds during pregnancy). Although UPS accommodated other employees with restrictions stemming from a wide range of sources—including a disability; an on-the-job injury; or loss of a commercial driver’s license due to a drunk driving charge—the company placed pregnancy in the narrower field of conditions for which they were not willing to make accommodations.
Young sued, asserting that UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) by treating her differently than other similarly situated employees because of her pregnancy. Her case was heard by the Supreme Court in December 2014; we discussed the case, its factual background, and its possible outcomes, here. This week, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, issued a ruling favorable to Young: it rejected the lower court’s narrow reading of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, reversed its dismissal of Young’s case, and sent the case back to the appeals court for further review.