A Maryland woman who says she lost work because she was pregnant became the voice for a new law protecting mothers in the workplace.
Peggy Young stood behind Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley as he signed the pregnant worker protection bill into law Thursday.
Six years ago Young’s employer, UPS based in Landover, told her she had to take unpaid leave because she was pregnant. A delivery driver, Young had a doctor's note recommending that she not lift more than 20 pounds.
Young, who lost her health insurance and couldn’t collect unemployment because she wasn’t fired, took her fight to court -- a losing battle so far. Her attorney is waiting to see if her case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Under the new law, Maryland employers will have to consider making accommodations for pregnant women, including light duty. They don’t have to create new jobs for expecting moms.
Young said it wasn't fair that women had to pick between having a family and working.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce testified against the bill, saying it was unnecessary and overreaching.
UPS released the following statement Thursday evening:
Both the district and appellate courts have validated that UPS policy for temporary alternate work assignments does not discriminate against pregnant workers or violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. UPS did not discriminate against Peggy Young. She returned to work as a UPS employee after the birth of her child and later left the company.
Maryland is one of several states that have passed these kinds of pregnant worker protections.
Follow Darcy Spencer on Twitter: @darcyspencer