Employers, beware! Make sure that your accommodation policy under the Americans With Disability Act (ADA) is consistent with the law and that you have a singular policy. In the case of Young v. United Parcel Service, the Supreme Court made a key point of the fact that the employer has multiple policies in reaching its decision to reverse and remand the fourth circuit’s court’s finding for the employer.
The case was filed by Peggy Young, who was let go without pay from her part time position at UPS in 2006. Young had asked that accommodations be made in regards to recent pregnancy and inability to lift a maximum weight.
However, UPS informed Young that as a driver, she was mandated to perform her duties in full capacity. Seeing that she was unable to do so, UPS let Young go immediately. She was left without a job and without benefits.
UPS’s argument stated that while its policies accommodate those with disabilities, its policies cannot accommodate restrictive duties for pregnant women. Ultimately, the decision was made to favor Young and her case.
In 2008, an amendment was made to the ACT to include that accommodations must be made for pregnancy, thus standardizing the practice and making it impossible for employers, like UPS, to practice blind tactics.
Providing accommodations for pregnant women continues to advance and increase the wellbeing and morale of employees. Not only does it help with retention rate, it supports a female’s ability and right to work during and after their pregnancy. While the right is protected by federal law, it’s important to note that the shift in accommodation is the correct action to take; for it advances the best interests for all of their employees.