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In Fight Against UPS Discrimination, Pregnant Workers Get Boost From Top Court

Supreme Court decision overturns prior dismissal of Peggy Young's complaint, reviving a case with broad implications for workers across the country

Peggy Young, who filed suit against UPS, with her daughter Triniti, 7, in Washington. (Photo: AP)

Peggy Young, who filed suit against UPS, with her daughter Triniti, 7, in Washington. (Photo: AP)

A former United Parcel Service delivery driver demanding restitution for discrimination she allegedly faced while pregnant just won a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 6-3 decision on Wednesday, the justices tossed out a lower court ruling that had dismissed the case of the plaintiff, Peggy Young. The decision effectively sends the complaint back to the lower courts, giving new life to a case that has broad implications for pregnant workers across country.

When Young became pregnant in 2006, she requested a temporary change in job duties to avoid lifting heavy packages—at the recommendation of her doctor. UPS said no and forced her to take unpaid leave. As a result, Young lost her health benefits, in addition her income.

As Lenora Lapidus pointed out in ACLU Blog of Rights, this was despite the fact that "the world's largest shipping and logistics company routinely provides such accommodations to other workers temporarily unable to perform their regular tasks because of on-the-job injuries, disabilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or loss of their commercial drivers' licenses."

On behalf of the majority opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote Wednesday, "Why, when the employer accommodated so many, could it not accommodate pregnant workers as well?"

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