UPS Pays $2.25M to Resolve Suit Over Light Duty Policy for Pregnant Employees

September 23, 2019

Under a conciliation agreement covering certain workers adversely affected between 2012 and 2014, United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), has agreed to pay $2.25 million and clarify its pregnancy accommodation policies to resolve allegations that the package delivery giant ran afoul of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when it failed to give pregnant workers light duty or other accommodations that would have permitted them to continue working. Until 2015, when it changed its policy, UPS provided accommodations in the form of light duty assignments to UPS workers injured on the job, those with certain driving restrictions, and those with disabilities, but the company did not provide light duty work to pregnant employees. A UPS driver alleged that this failure to accommodate pregnant UPS workers by providing light duty assignments violated the PDA. While that former driver resolved her individual charge with UPS, the EEOC's investigation focused on other pregnant UPS workers who were not given light duty or other accommodations that would have permitted them to continue to work. The conciliation agreement covering these workers provides for payment to those who, between 2012 and 2014, suffered losses because they were not accommodated during pregnancy, primarily consisting of the difference between short-term disability payments they received and the amount they would have received if they had been allowed to work. While UPS changed its policy in 2015 to allow light duty accommodations for pregnant, unionized employees, the agreement also clarifies that UPS's obligation to accommodate pregnant workers extends to both unionized and nonunionized employees. The agreement also clarifies that accommodations beside light duty may be appropriate and that UPS's accommodation obligation under the PDA extends to childbirth and related medical conditions.

"The EEOC commends UPS for agreeing to resolve this matter short of litigation by making whole UPS workers who were not accommodated during pregnancy under UPS's previous policy," said EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry. "I also applaud UPS for confirming that it will accommodate both union and nonunion employees, and that accommodation may take forms other than light duty assignments."