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Supreme Court hears UPS Pregnancy discrimination case

The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday struggled with how to balance workplace rights for pregnant women, in a case brought against United Parcel Service by a former delivery driver.

The court took the case to clarify the meaning of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which requires employers to treat pregnant women the same as nonpregnant employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” During an hourlong oral argument, the justices sent no clear signals of how they would rule.

Peggy Young, the driver, alleged UPS discriminated against her after she became pregnant in 2006, saying the company wouldn’t accommodate doctor-recommended lifting restrictions, forcing her to take unpaid leave and lose medical coverage. UPS said its policies didn’t discriminate because they provided across-the-board rules accommodating workers injured on the job, but not those who faced lifting restrictions because of off-the-job medical conditions.

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