Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

135 S.Ct. 1338 (2015)


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says that employers must treat “women affected by pregnancy . . . the same for all employment-related purposes . . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work. P worked as a part-time driver for D doing pickup and delivery of packages that had arrived by air carrier the previous night. P became pregnant. Her doctor told her that she should not lift more than 20 pounds during the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy or more than 10 pounds thereafter. D required drivers to be able to lift parcels weighing up to 70 pounds (and up to 150 pounds with assistance). D told P she could not work while under a lifting restriction. P stayed home without pay during most of the time she was pregnant and eventually lost her employee medical coverage. P brought this federal lawsuit. P claimed that her co-workers were willing to help her with heavy packages. She also said that D accommodated other drivers who were “similar in their . . . inability to work.” P relied on evidence showing that D would accommodate workers injured on the job, those suffering from ADA disabilities, and those who had lost their DOT certifications. P claimed this showed that D had a light-duty-for-injury policy with respect to numerous “other persons,” but not with respect to pregnant workers. Further evidence indicated that D had accommodated several individuals when they suffered disabilities that created work restrictions similar to hers. D moved for summary judgment. The District Court concluded that P could not show intentional discrimination through direct evidence. It also held that D had offered a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for failing to accommodate pregnant women. The Fourth Circuit affirmed. It wrote that “D has crafted a pregnancy-blind policy” that is “at least facially a ‘neutral and legitimate business practice,’ and not evidence of D’s discriminatory animus toward pregnant workers.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari.