Wednesday was a victory day for female workers. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Peggy Young who was discriminated for being pregnant.
Young lost her case in a lower court after suing the giant company UPS in 2008. After her appeal in the Supreme Court, the justice stands in favor of Young and send back her case back to the lower courts.
The base of the case Young against United Parcel Service was the debate of it was right or not for the UPS to putting Peggy Young on a unpaid leave due to her pregnancy, even though in her workplace there were workers who were offered “light duty” for people who got injuries in their jobs to fulfill the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit still alive after the justice ruled 6-3 in Young’s favor. During the court session, the Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito joined their liberal colleagues.
A question was made by the Justice Stephen Breyer, “Why, when the employer accommodated so many, could it not accommodate pregnant women as well?” who said that this interrogation should be asked to the lower court.
A ruling from 2013 made by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was essentially behind the decision of the first loss of Young’s case. Her lawyer, Samuel Bagenstos referred to the Supreme Court’s decision as a “big win”.
“The Court recognized that a ruling for UPS would thwart Congress’s intent. It adopted most of our key arguments,” Bagenstos said, making what appears a reference to the 1978’s law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Which establish that pregnant women should not be treated differently from other workers who are similar in ability or inability to perform the job.
One important question was that if the Pregnancy Discrimination Act should require to the companies that must offer light-duty work to pregnant women if this is already done for non-pregnant worker in different situations.
UPS had maintained their stand about the case, saying that its light-duty rules were neutral about pregnancy situations. UPS believes that the company accommodates workers with cognitive disabilities as establish in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The shipping company made a statement trying to obtain a partial victory, saying that the Supreme Court didn’t accept the UPS’s pregnancy neutral policy “was inherently discriminatory” as an argument. And though they lose in the Supreme Court, UPS is confident that its argument would prevail in the next trial in the lower courts.
Young’s case is being supported by 23 anti-abortion groups alongside the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union. “Economic pressure is a significant factor in many women’s decision to choose abortion over childbirth” was noted in the anti-abortion coalition brief.
Photo Credit: Por dbking (originally posted to Flickr as US Supreme Court) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], undefined