Supreme Court issues decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”)

On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”), which deals with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act under Title VII.  The Court vacated the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in favor of UPS.  The issue was whether an employer was required to provide light duty work for pregnant female employees.

The Supreme Court fashioned its own hybrid interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, focusing on both intentional bias by the employer against pregnant women on one side, and the harmful impact an employer’s policy may have on pregnant women workers on the other.  In crafting this test, the Court has created new uncertainty in the area of light duty work, and it is likely that further litigation will result.

The Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit to apply the new test, and also left it to the Fourth Circuit to determine whether Young had created a genuine issue of fact as to whether UPS’s reasons for denying light duty to pregnant workers were simply pretext for discrimination.

For additional information, please contact any member of our Labor & Employment team.