United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”), the world's largest package delivery company, will pay $2.25 million and clarify its pregnancy accommodation policies to resolve a pregnancy discrimination charge that was investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced last week. The settlement stems from a claim brought by a UPS driver who alleged that the company's refusal to provide light duty as an accommodation to pregnant workers violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC's investigation uncovered other incidents beyond the initial Charging Party where pregnant women were not given light duty or provided other accommodations, according to a statement from the EEOC.
The Commission said that, until 2015, UPS provided accommodations to workers injured on the job, those with driving restrictions and those with disabilities. However, the package delivery service did not provide accommodations to pregnant women.
Discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, is a prohibited form of sex discrimination. While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn't require accommodations per se, it does require that employers treat women affected by pregnancy or related medical conditions the same as non-pregnant applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. Thus, if a company provides accommodations for health conditions other than pregnancy, it must provide equal treatment of pregnancy and health conditions related to pregnancy.
This means that pregnant workers must be provided with the same access to light duty that other employees receive. It also means that pregnant women cannot be excluded from light duty or denied it at a higher rate than other employees.
Learn More: Pregnancy Discrimination Info