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Supreme Court sets date for UPS driver’s pregnancy suit

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 3 on the pregnancy discrimination claim of a UPS package delivery driver in Landover who was denied a light-duty assignment so she could continue working while pregnant.

Peggy Young says she lost her health benefits when United Parcel Service would not grant her light duty or allow her to continue her regular job. Young says the company allows employees with some medical conditions, such as those recovering from a workplace injury, to perform jobs in which they can avoid lifting heavy packages.

Young went on an extended leave of absence without pay and ultimately lost her medical coverage. She returned to work at UPS after giving birth in 2007.

Lower federal courts rejected Young’s claim UPS’ actions violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In July, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Young v. United Parcel Service, No. 12-1226.

Whatever the high court decides, it may have less of an effect in Maryland than elsewhere.

Spurred in part by the litigation, the General Assembly last year amended Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act to add “Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy” (SB 784/HB 0804).

The measure, which took effect October 1, 2013, requires employers of 15 or more people to consider several possible accommodations for pregnant workers who are “temporarily disabled.”