The Choice: Pregnancy or Employment

Former United Parcel Service employee takes her unpaid maternity leave from work to the Supreme Court. This pressing issue is to be heard on December 3, 2014. Peggy Young, a former part time delivery driver whose job description as per her lawsuit was characterized by handling of heavy packages of up to 70 pounds was denied the opportunity to continue work with lighter weight after conceiving a child. Young’s job at the UPS involved delivering packages from airport to homes and businesses. She worked at UPS for a number of years after when in 2006 she was advised by the doctor to prevent lifting heavy objects as a precaution to prevent mishaps during pregnancy.

The company has in the past offered jobs of lighter nature to employees who suffered injuries at work or even outside of work and those covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although as the American with disabilities Act does not take pregnancy for a disability Young’s case did not merit a lighter duty job by UPS instead a leave with no benefits and loss of medical coverage, as well.  After taking a two months unpaid leave Young joined UPS on the same position and continued working until 2009.

While the company’s policy classified pregnancy not a disability and denied Young other working options there are Acts that stand guard of such situations for motherhood. A case like Young’s is well guarded by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act which was passed in the year 1978. It guarantees a pregnant woman equal rights and benefits as any other employee. The Act specifically protects women during pregnancy and recent child births. The passing of pregnancy discrimination Act has resulted in lowering the number of loss of jobs for women during pregnancy.

The company’s unbiased policy toward genders may theoretically be serving equality but the debate is yet to be concluded. Whether women during pregnancy should be offered a temporary arrangement or not, particularly when the company makes such arrangements for many other cases is the question in the spotlight. Because pregnancy is physiologically restricted to women a better provision of temporary options should specially be designed to guard for women?

 

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