Rep. Vanessa Brown supports Supreme Court ruling for pregnant workers

PHILADELPHIA, March 25 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., has announced her support for today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring accommodations for pregnant workers in the workforce.

The Supreme Court ruled on behalf of Peggy Young, a United Parcel Service worker who was placed on unpaid leave after she became pregnant. Young had argued that she was entitled to the same "light duty" assignments as were available to those injured on the job. UPS had argued that she was being treated as all other workers who suffered "off-the-job" illnesses or conditions.

Young, who delivered packages for UPS, was limited by her doctor during her 2006 pregnancy to lifting packages of 20 pounds or less. She asked for a light-duty assignment and was refused. She filed suit against UPS in 2008 and the case has worked its way through courts until today's decision.

"This is truly a win for female workers around the country," Brown said. "The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 margin, has told companies that they can't use pregnancy against women.

"This is a big deal and it ties in with a bill I have co-sponsored with Representative Mark Cohen, which would require a place of business to create an environment which would allow a woman to continue to work through her pregnancy or related medical condition, as long as it does not place undue burdens on the employer.

"Under this bill, employers would be expected to provide a woman with time to sit down or rest if their job requires standing, help lifting and temporarily restructuring the woman's job."

House Bill 704, co-introduced by Brown and Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Phila., has been assigned to the House Labor and Industry Committee for further consideration.