“The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service (UPS) today clearly recognizes that pregnant women have a right to equal treatment in the workplace under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. This is good news for Peggy Young and for all pregnant workers, and it should prompt employers across the country to take a hard look at their policies and practices when it comes to accommodating pregnant women.
Any ruling that means fewer pregnant women face discrimination in the workplace is good for women, good for families, and good for our economy and our country. We are pleased that the majority ruled in favor of Peggy Young, overturning the Fourth Circuit’s decision in favor of UPS. She now has a chance to vindicate the protections that the law absolutely provides.
The decision also issues a clear and welcome message to employers that accommodating most non-pregnant workers with injuries or disabilities while refusing to accommodate most pregnant workers is against the law. All employers should now re-examine their policies to ensure that pregnant women will not face discrimination on the job.
But voluntary measures will not be enough, given how pervasive pregnancy discrimination is in our country. Today’s ruling still leaves protections for some pregnant workers unclear. That is why Congress must act now by reintroducing and passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Passing this common sense bill would reinforce today’s decision and help ensure that no woman has to choose between her job and the health of her pregnancy when she needs reasonable accommodations.
Finally, it is unfortunate that three justices dissented from this very measured ruling; that serves as a stark reminder of how important it is to nominate and confirm only those judicial candidates who have a deep commitment to equal justice for all.”
About the National Partnership
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.