UPS Worker's Bias Suit Picked Up by High Court
WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to look at a case where the United Parcel Service would not let a woman continue working while pregnant.
Peggy Young conceived in summer 2006 during a leave of absence she took to undergo in vitro fertilization. Prior to her pregnancy, Young had been a seven-year, part-time employee for the UPS, working as an "air driver" out of a facility in Landover, Md.
Though UPS policy stipulates that all drivers must be able to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds, Young called this rule illusory since she had rarely needed to lift heavy packages during her time on the job.
She said her co-workers had offered to help her as needed during her pregnancy, and that she could use a hand truck if help was unavailable.
Both Young's doctor and midwife signed notes stating that Young should not lift more than 20 pounds.
Young had extended her leave of absence when she first became pregnant, her supervisor refused to let the woman return to work that fall based on the lifting limitation.
When her leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act expired in November 2006, Young went on an unpaid extended leave of absence. She eventually lost her medical coverage, and her attendance chart at UPS ascribed Young's absence to "disability."
Young returned to work for UPS some time after giving birth on April 29, 2007. She brought discrimination claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that summer and filed suit in October 2008.
A federal judge granted UPS summary judgment in 2011, and the 4th Circuit affirmed in January 2013.
The Supreme Court granted Young a writ of certiorari on Tuesday but did not issue any comment on the case, as is its custom.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article misidentified the name of the employer in this case. The employer and party to the action is the United Parcel Service, more commonly known as UPS. Courthouse News regrets the error.