Am I Allowed to Ask for Accommodations at Work If I’m Pregnant?

As we reported recently in our blog, pregnancy discrimination is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which mandates that pregnant women be treated the same way as other employees at the workplace. Discrimination underlined with red marker

The PDA allows women who are subjected to discrimination because of their pregnancy to file complaints and potentially seek damages.

The Washington Post reported recently that the Supreme Court has taken up a case that weighs how much protection Congress meant to give pregnant workers through the PDA when they ask for accommodations concerning their usual duties.

According to the Post, the Supreme Court has taken up the case of Peggy Young, a former driver for United Parcel Service (UPS), who claimed that the company violated federal laws when it did not allow her to change her duties when a doctor suggested that she not lift heavy packages.

Young claimed that she was forced to take an unpaid leave during her pregnancy, because the company denied her accommodations. An attorney for UPS reportedly told the Justices that the company did not discriminate and that pregnant women are not treated differently at the company.

Young said that her request for lighter duty was turned down, because it was “inconsistent with UPS policy.” The company allegedly told Young that it only extended those types of accommodations to “those injured on the job.”

Young reportedly left the company in 2009, filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, before filing a lawsuit, which has been kicked around by state courts in Maryland.

Can I File a Lawsuit If I Am Subjected to Pregnancy Discrimination?

If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination at the workplace because of your pregnancy, you should speak to our attorneys, because you may be entitled to damages. As we noted recently, a woman won a $185 million suit against AutoZone Stores Inc. after claiming that she was wrongfully terminated when she complained about pregnancy discrimination.

You should not have to suffer, because you made a decision to give birth to a child. You should be allowed to ask for accommodations without the fear or retaliation or baseless denials. Speak to our attorneys if you have been wronged by your employer.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys