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Supreme Court weighs pregnancy discrimination on the job




Vocal demonstrators protesting outside of the Supreme Court Wednesday December 3, 2014.
Vocal demonstrators protesting outside of the Supreme Court Wednesday December 3, 2014.
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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In a case that has allied abortion-rights groups with anti-abortion groups, today the Supreme Court justices heard arguments that United Parcel Service discriminated against a pregnant employee. While working at UPS, Peggy Young was required to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds, but she says most weighed about 20 - the maximum allowed by Young's midwife. When she told her bosses about her needs, she was put on unpaid leave and lost medical benefits, rather than being put on "light duty" - an accommodation that had been provided to other workers with injuries or even suspended licenses due to DUIs.

UPS said pregnant women and those injured off the job had never been provided accommodations. However, it has since changed its policy allowing light duty for pregnant woman, while still fighting this case in court. What does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act  mean for workers and companies? How has your workplace or your employees struggled or handled pregnancy on the job?

Guests:

Lenora Lapidus,  Attorney and Director of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a brief in support of Young.

Beth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel, National Federation of Independent Business Legal Center; NFIB submitted a brief in support of UPS