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Supreme Court to hear PDA accommodation case

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide a case that will determine if the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires employers to grant light-duty accommodations to pregnant workers.

The case—Young v. UPS—challenges a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that employers don’t have to offer light duty to pregnant workers as long as they follow the same policy with employees who aren’t pregnant.

UPS driver Peggy Young sought a light-duty assignment after her obstetrician recommended a 20-pound lifting restriction. UPS refused because it considers lifting 70 pounds an essential job function. UPS allows light duty for on-the-job injuries, but not health conditions unrelated to work. The 4th Circuit said that since the UPS policy treats pregnant and nonpregnant workers alike, it is legal under the PDA. The 6th Circuit ruled the other way in 1996.

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