Pregnant woman’s lawsuit against UPS revived by Supreme Court

Peggy Young lost her job as a delivery truck driver for UPS in 2006 after she asked for duties with less heavy lifting while she was pregnant. Above, Young in 2014.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived a pregnant woman’s lawsuit against United Parcel Service, ordering lower courts to determine whether men with a temporary disability were treated better.

The 6-3 decision is a partial victory for Peggy Young, who in 2006 was a part-time driver for UPS when her doctor told her she should not lift more than 20 pounds during her pregnancy. UPS required drivers to lift up to 70 pounds.

The court, in an opinion by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, refused to say -- as Young had asked -- that workers nearly always should be given special accommodations during a pregnancy.


But it also rejected UPS’ contention that its policy was in accordance with a 1978 federal law protecting pregnant workers, sending that matter back to a lower court to address that question.

The case may have limited effect. UPS has since changed its policy to give allowances to pregnant workers, and a number of states, including California, Illinois and Maryland, have adopted laws protecting the job status of pregnant workers.