UPS is changing its policy with respect to pregnant employees and will try to accommodate them with light-duty work.
The accommodations will be effective Jan. 1, and the policy “will serve to strengthen UPS’s commitments to treating all workers fairly and supporting women in the workplace,” UPS said.
The announcement was made to employees and appended to a brief that UPS filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 24.
“Light-duty work will be provided as an accommodation to pregnant employees with lifting or other physical restrictions to the same extent as such work is available as an accommodation to employees with similar restrictions resulting from on-the-job injuries,” the policy statement said.
The carrier is being sued by Peggy Young, who became pregnant in 2006 while she was a driver for UPS in Maryland and asked for light duty, which she said her doctors advised.
At the time, UPS supervisors said they had no policy under which they could accommodate her request because, as in keeping with federal civil rights law, light duty was open only to those who had suffered an injury.
Young sued, saying she had been discriminated against under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Two lower federal courts have upheld UPS’ position. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in December.
Spokeswoman Kara Ross said that in changing its policy, UPS is responding to guidelines issued in July by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and by several states that require lighter duties to be made available to pregnant employees where possible.