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Labor Laws Before Labor: Pregnancy in the Workplace

March 30, 2015

“Samuel Bagenstos, a lawyer for Young who teaches at the University of Michigan Law School, praised the decision calling it a “big win not just for Peggy Young, but also for all women in the workplace.” “


You may have seen in the news last week that the Supreme Court voted (6-3) in favor of Peggy Young, who was placed on unpaid leave as an employee of United Parcel Service (UPS) when the company determined she did not qualify for  ‘light-duty’ restricted lifting that was ordered by her MD when she was pregnant in 2006. In 2010 the Fourth Circuit Court ruled in favor of UPS, but in an appeal to the Supreme Court, the court determined that the case warranted re-consideration by the lower court, as the UPS decision may be in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In the meantime, UPS has voluntarily decided to change some of their policies regarding accommodations for pregnant employees.

This is a step in the right direction. As Mr. Bagenstos says, “It’s a big step forward towards enforcing the principle that a woman shouldn’t have to choose between her pregnancy and her job.”

If you are interested in reading more about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1964, you can find it here. If you are interested in reading more about Family and Medical Leave Act, protecting jobs (unpaid) during childbirth/maternity, read here. If you are interested in reading about legal protection for breast pumping in the workplace, read here.

If you have specific questions about your healthy pregnancy while working, please discuss with your Oakland Macomb provider. Every pregnancy is different and whether or not restrictions during pregnancy are required will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


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