On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., a case brought by a former UPS delivery driver who claims UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) contained in Title VII, when it improperly denied her request for light duty work because of a recommended lifting restriction during her pregnancy. Young was not given the same accommodation as non-pregnant employees with similar limitations, in that UPS offered light duty only to employees with on-the-job injuries, employees with permanent impairments entitled to accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and employees who lost Department of Transportation certification to drive commercial vehicles. Pregnant employees (women) were deemed ineligible for light duty work for any limitations arising solely as a result of their pregnancy.
On July 14, 2014, only 13 days after the Court agreed to hear Young’s appeal, the EEOC issued its Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues. The EEOC sets forth a comprehensive list of questions and answers regarding pregnancy and provides a list of recommended best practices in terms of hiring and other employment decisions. Most notably, the guidance addresses employers’ duties under the PDA and ADA and provides that employers are to provide reasonable accommodations, and specifically light duty, to pregnant employees with work restrictions, even if the employee does not qualify as an individual with a disability under the ADA.
The guidance discusses matters that relate directly to the facts and issues to be examined and decided by the Supreme Court in Young v. UPS. However, the guidance does not have the force of law and the Supreme Court’s decision in Young could directly contradict the EEOC guidance. If this occurs, the EEOC will face vociferous criticism. This potential for conflict creates some uncertainty for employers regarding their obligations. In the interim, however, employers should use caution and consider the EEOC’s guidance in making decisions with respect to employees who are covered by the PDA and ADA. Employers should also consider any state or local laws that offer protection from pregnancy discrimination, such as those recently passed in Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act) was signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020. The bill becomes law on April 2, 2020.Under the new law, certain employees will be eligible to receive paid sick and family leave through December 31, 2020 for leave related to COVID 19. Relevant portions related to employment law… Read more »Read More
As our clients balance the health and safety of their employees during the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) we want to update them on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”). On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Act. If the Senate approves the Act and it is signed by the… Read more »Read More
On April 23, 2020, Pietragallo Partners Lourdes Sánchez Ridge and Michael A. Morse will present “How the False Claims Act Impacts Municipalities.” The False Claims Act (FCA) has been a tool used against municipalities and a tool used by municipalities. During this presentation, which is a part of the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association (IMLA) annual… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo partners John Schwab and Jim Kraus will be discussing topics related to federal criminal practice in a four-hour symposium hosted by the Allegheny County Bar Association on Friday, April 24th, 2020. Do you have your first criminal case in Federal Court or do you practice criminal defense and need a refresher on the specifics… Read more »Read More