According to a memo recently sent out to all UPS employees, as of January 1, 2015 the company will offer its temporary light duty positions to pregnant workers as well as workers that have suffered injuries on the job. This comes as UPS gets ready to engage in a high-profile Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS, in which the company will actually be taking the very opposite stance.
The case revolves around an incident related to UPS employee Peggy Young of Maryland, who was denied temporary light duty after she became pregnant. Her doctor recommended that she avoid lifting heavy items until after childbirth, but UPS was unwilling to give her the same treatment as they do to injured employees. Young filed a lawsuit based on unfair policies and employee discrimination.
Despite changing its policies, UPS is not admitting any wrongdoing in the case, and will continue to vehemently stand its ground in the case when it goes to the Supreme Court. It claims that the denial of Young’s request was in fact lawful at the time she made the request, and therefore it cannot be forced to give damages in the case. However, the company announced its reversal of policy in the language of its court brief, much to the surprise of people familiar with the case and UPS employees.
One of Young’s attorneys believes that UPS’s sudden policy change is as good as an admission of guilt, and that it “highlights the injustice” of its stance in this case. He believes that if UPS is going to suddenly change its policies because of this case, then Young deserves to be compensated because it would indicate that UPS believes it was in the wrong.
Young’s case has received a great deal of support from people on all sides of the political spectrum, and has earned a high-profile spot in legal news. We will continue to monitor its progress.
For more information on exercising your rights as a whistleblower, consult the skilled Dallas attorneys with Whistleblower Law for Managers.