Resolving the Great Divide in Pregnancy Discrimination
Nashville Bar Journal, July 2014
4 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 28 Oct 2014
Date Written: August 11, 2014
The Supreme Court granted certiorari on July 1, 2014, in the Fourth Circuit case of Young v. United Parcel Service, to resolve a fundamental disagreement between the federal courts of appeals over the extent to which employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Prior to granting certiorari, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to submit an amicus curiae brief providing the position of the United States. It was the opinion of the Solicitor General that the Fourth Circuit “erred in holding that petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case of pregnancy-related sex discrimination,” and moreover that “[a] majority of the courts of appeals…to have considered claims similar to petitioner’s have erred” in interpreting the second clause of the PDA. If the Court agrees with the opinion of the Solicitor General, its decision will reverse the current approach in the majority of federal circuits, thereby substantially altering the litigation of pregnancy discrimination claims.
Keywords: pregnancy, discrimination
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