ANA condemns unequal treatment of pregnant workers

Thinkstock | monkeybusinessimages
Thinkstock | monkeybusinessimages

Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of a former UPS driver who sued the company under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act when she was not assigned lighter duty during her pregnancy. Recently, the American Nurses Association (ANA) officially declared its support of Peggy Young in the case.

The ANA, along with other institutions, filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of Young, according to a press release.

“As this case illustrates, many women still face an unfair and impossible choice between losing their jobs and ignoring the advice of healthcare providers to maintain a healthy pregnancy,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in the release. “ANA stands with the healthcare and women’s advocacy communities in calling on the Supreme Court and lawmakers to end workplace pregnancy discrimination and give pregnant workers the support needed to maintain financial security and maternal health.”

When Young was pregnant, she was instructed by her healthcare provider not to lift anything heavy. However, rather than reassign Young from her driver position to other duties during her pregnancy, she was instructed to take an unpaid leave during the remainder of her pregnancy.

Reporting on the Young v. United Parcel Service case, the New York Times wrote that the central question of the case is “what to make of language in the pregnancy law that requires employers to treat ‘women affected by pregnancy’ the same as ‘other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.’”

In addition to the “friend of the court brief,” the ANA clearly agreed with Young’s stance in the language of the release:

While many women can work throughout their pregnancies without job modifications, some women, on the advice of their healthcare provider, require modest short-term accommodations to perform their job duties without compromising their pregnancy.

Have you seen any issues concerning pregnant nurses in your workplaces? Let us know in the comments below!

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