In more cases than not, appeal law firms do not handle simple cases. (If the cases were simple, they would not require appellate attorneys or sometimes even criminal appellate lawyers.) On Monday October 6, The U.S. Supreme Court will tackle one of the most controversial pregnancy discrimination cases in recent history. Before it was escalated to The Supreme Court, the case had already gone through a local “district court and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals,” according to Bustle.
The United Parcel Service (UPS) treated former employee Peggy Young in the same way as workers who are injured off the clock. In other words, when Young followed UPS procedures and presented a written statement of a work restriction from her mid-wife, the nationwide company forced Young to take a six month leave without pay. According to UPS, Young’s work restriction — stating that she should not lift more than 20 pounds at a time — renders her unable to complete her basic duties, which, in rare cases, can involve lifting packages as heavy as 70 pounds. UPS denied Young’s request to be placed on “light duty” — handling lightweight packages — a privilege they reserve for employees hurt on the job.
There are 13 circuit courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals (also known as the federal circuit court) and the U.S. Supreme Court. Appeal law firms are not the only ones who will be rallying for Young’s cause, however, while the Supreme Court makes a final ruling about her case. In fact, men and women with opposing political views — both pro-life groups and women’s rights advocacy groups — are publicly condemning UPS’ treatment of Young. Pro-life groups fear Young’s dismissal may inspire other women to get abortions to avoid similar treatment. Women’s advocacy groups argue that it is crazy to treat pregnancy like a serious injury.
The U.S. Court of Appeals will review more than 10,000 appeals each and every term. Young’s case, however, may prove one of the most definitive cases — possibly determining the fates of women for several years or decades to come.
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