On January 11, 2018, NELA joined a coalition of civil rights and gender equity groups in signing an amicus brief filed by the ACLU Women’s Rights Project (WRP) and the Center for WorkLife Law (CWLL) in Legg et al. v. Ulster County (2d Cir.). This case concerns the appropriate interpretation and application of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS (2015), as applied in a case alleging that a particular policy has a disparate impact on pregnant employees (in this case, corrections officers). In arguing that the ruling of the district court should be reversed, the amicus brief highlights the central purpose of the PDA, as reaffirmed in Young, which is to assure that employers do not disadvantage pregnant workers as compared to their non-pregnant peers. Specifically, the brief challenges the lower court’s holding requiring the plaintiff not only to demonstrate that the light duty policy in question had a disparate impact on pregnant workers, but also to further prove that all or most pregnant officers will require light duty to continue working. As the brief ably demonstrates, this ruling turns the applicable disparate impact analysis on its … Read More
On January 26, 2017, NELA joined the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and approximately two dozen other civil rights and public interest groups in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of the Plaintiff-Appellant in Luke v. CPlace Forest Park SNF, LLC. This case involves an appeal of a decision granting summary judgment against Eryon Luke, who was denied an accommodation of her lifting restriction during her pregnancy.
The brief argues that the district court made a number of errors in applying the standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., and concluded that Ms. Luke had not presented a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination, which Young held should not be an “onerous” standard. Given that only a handful of federal courts–including just two Courts of Appeals–have issued decisions interpreting Young, and given the disparate outcomes in those cases, it is critical to achieve appellate rulings that read Young’s liability standards expansively.
The brief was drafted by NELA member Gillian Thomas of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, along with colleagues from the ACLU of Louisiana, A Better Balance, and … Read More