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Pregnancy discrimination in Supreme Court

Employees in Indiana may benefit from understanding more about the U.S. Supreme Court has reacted to cases involving pregnancy discrimination at the workplace. The Supreme Court judges interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in order to deliver a verdict or a potentially landmark case on March 25. The federal act is designed to prohibit employers from harassing or discriminating against employee due to a pregnancy or related condition. The complainant only filed a lawsuit against UPS, but the outcome of this case may affect many employers.

The lawsuit was filed by the employee because UPS refused a 20-pound lifting restriction accommodation due to her pregnancy. The woman was employed as a part-time driver, which included a 70-pound lifting requirement. She claimed that UPS was being discriminatory because of her pregnancy since they had accommodated non-pregnant employees with similar restrictions, such as employees injured on the job receiving alternative assignments for a temporary period of time.

UPS did not allow the woman to continue working because she was unable to life the 70 pounds required for her driver position. The federal act requires employers to provide pregnant employees with the same accommodations that non-pregnant employees would be able to receive or various job-related purposes. Employers must afford employees with pregnancy related conditions the same opportunities as other employers who are temporarily unable to perform the full extent of their work for other reasons. The Supreme Court ruled that the employers must provide pretextual evidence of legitimate nondiscriminatory reasoning for denying pregnant employees equal accommodations.

Employees who feel victimized by sex discrimination or harassment from an employer may benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel might be able to investigate the complaint and help determine whether the employer was in violation of the law. Lawyers may be able to help these employees obtain restitution, reinstatement or punitive damages from the employer.

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