You may have been hearing a lot in the last few weeks about an important “pro-employee” case in which the US Supreme Court revived a pregnancy discrimination case against the United Parcel Service. What you may not be hearing, though, is that while the decision was a big blow to the UPS, which had won at the lower court levels, it is of little impact on employers today.
You see, not long after UPS denied their pregnant employee light duty to accommodate her pregnancy and she sued them, Congress amended federal discrimination laws pertaining to pregnancy-related accommodations. Specifically, Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008 and expanded the definition of “disability” to include “physical or mental impairment[s] that substantially limi[t]” an individual’s ability to lift, stand, or bend.”
Anyone who has been pregnant or has seen a pregnant woman can tell you that this pretty much covers most pregnancy-related “disabilities”. That means pregnant employees with such disabilities would now be protected under the ADA and entitled to its reasonable accommodation requirements.
The US Supreme Court actually acknowledged that the ADA amendment may make its decision less than impactful on employers today.
So now you know what you should know about the most talked-about recent employment case that probably doesn’t affect you.
This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2015. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.
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