The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was created to protect women from workplace discrimination due to her pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace may involve any of the following:
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The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was put in place to prevent discrimination against a woman for being pregnant. The PDA states that there can be no discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Related medical conditions are used as an overreaching term and therefore includes the issues that come with breastfeeding, as it is intrinsically intertwined with pregnancy. Stephanie Hicks, the plaintiff in Hicks v. Tuscaloosa case, was denied accommodations because of her pregnancy-related medical condition and ultimately resigned from her position.
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Since their integration into the workplace, women have become an important part of today’s labor force. In recent years, working women have made strides to become a critical part of the labor force while simultaneously raising and supporting their families. According to Pew Research Center, mothers serve as the sole or primary provider in 40 percent of households with children. Despite this progress, women have faced a variety of obstacles in the workplace, including one of the most prominent issues: pregnancy discrimination.
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In the much anticipated Supreme Court decision in the case of Young v. UPS, the Court remanded the case back to the 4th Circuit. Although the Supreme Court did not directly decide the issue of whether UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, in not offering Young a disability accommodation due to her pregnancy, it held that Young’s claim should at least be heard. Advocates celebrated this as a victory because at least Young would have her day in court that had been denied by the lower courts. Young’s attorney considered the decision to be a “big step forward towards enforcing the principle that a woman shouldn’t have to choose between her pregnancy and her job.”
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