Legal news reports a California woman filing a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against a large retail chain. The lawsuit stems from her employer’s reaction upon learning about her pregnancy. When the woman was approximately five months pregnant, she provided a note from her physician stating that she should not lift more than 10 pounds.
Within an hour of this conversation, she was informed that she would have to take unpaid leave. The store claimed that despite her doctor’s note, they did not accommodate pregnant individuals. As a result, she filed a pregnancy discrimination case arguing that it is illegal to deny accommodations to pregnant workers while providing reasonable accommodations to employees injured on the job.
Currently, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. While this does not mean pregnant women are entitled to special treatment, it does require them to be treated equally to non-pregnant individuals. For instance, if a company grants additional leaves of absence to employees with medical conditions, they must extend the same practice to pregnant women.
Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Young v. United Parcel Service, addressing the issue of “pregnancy discrimination” and whether employers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, such as reduced lifting requirements and more frequent breaks, if they offer similar accommodations to injured workers. The Supreme Court has yet to issue its opinion on this matter.
If you believe you have experienced discrimination due to pregnancy, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.