UPS recently announced plans to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for $2.25 million.
UPS recently agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $2.25 million over allegations of pregnancy discrimination. According to the suit, UPS discriminated against numerous pregnant parcel workers between 2012 and 2014. As part of the recent settlement agreement, UPS will provide compensation to the parcel workers “who weren’t properly compensated while they were pregnant.” According to the EEOC, the woman will receive the “difference between short-term disability payments they received and the amount they would have received if they had been allowed to work.”
What happened, though? How were the pregnant parcel workers discriminated against? For starters, the suit claims the drivers were not offered light-duty assignments and other accommodations while employees with disabilities and injuries were. According to the EEOC, “until UPS changed its pregnancy policy in 2015, the company had provided light-duty assignments to employees who had been injured on the job, those with certain driving restrictions and those with disabilities – but not to pregnant employees.” As a result, the plaintiffs and agency accused UPS of violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
When commenting on the recent settlement, which includes non-unionized and unionized workers, EEOC New York District Office Director Kevin Berry said:
“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’ previous policy. I also applaud UPS for confirming that it will accommodate both union and non-union employees, and that accommodation may take forms other than light-duty assignments.”
UPS also chimed in about the settlement and said it is dedicated to working to ensure pregnant employees enjoy a “positive work experience, including caring for related medical conditions.” It further stated:
“Our maternity leave benefits have included paid time off and opportunities for light-duty work assignments for several years, and this agreement reinforces that commitment. This agreement essentially confirms the policies that UPS made effective on Jan. 1, 2015 to provide pregnant employees with light-duty or alternative-work assignments.”
As part of the agreement, the EEOC also noted that UPS may offer accommodations beside light duty for pregnant employees moving forward. Additionally, it noted that “UPS’ accommodation obligation under the PDA extends to childbirth and related medical conditions.” The agreement also requires UPS to provide “training of human resources and supervisory employees and for notifying employees on the revised policy, as well as for reporting procedures to the EEOC on pregnancy accommodation requests and complaints.”