By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Peggy Young was a UPS driver in Atlanta who requested that she be put on light duty when she was pregnant. UPS said, Yeah, no. You want light duty? Sit on your couch while you take unpaid leave. Sound not too good? Apparently. She sued the company claiming pregnancy discrimination and the case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court.
The problem for UPS, according to the Supreme Court, was that it did offer light duty to a whole bunch of people, including those who were injured on the job and those who had a disability. Why then, couldn’t it give her light duty? That remains to be seen.
The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court to figure out if she had been treated worse than other nonpregnant employees. The lesson is that pregnancy doesn’t give a person a free pass – the court explicitly stated: We doubt that Congress intended to grant pregnant workers an unconditional most-favored-nation status. But employers need to be absolutely clear on the fact that it doesn’t mean they can treat pregnant workers WORSE than other disabled employees either.