The U.S. Supreme Court tossed a ruling by a lower court that blocked a lawsuit against a previous employer, thereby reviving Peggy Young’s case against United Parcel Service. Ms. Young sued for discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, when her request to move to less labor-intensive tasks—such as lifting 70-pound packages—was denied by the company.

“While most employers provided accommodations to pregnant employees, the Court now makes clear that pregnancy accommodations are not optional in certain circumstances,” said Ballard Spahr employment lawyer Lucretia C. Clemons. Part of the ruling established “a failure to accommodate claim” must be asserted by employees under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Clemons said that type of litigation can be very expensive for employers who would need to undertake a discovery process involving many employees when just one has accused them of discrimination.

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Labor and Employment