Document Type

Article

Publication Title

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

This article takes a comprehensive look at recent case law under the PDA, while offering a critical commentary on the gender ideology that lies behind these decisions and charting the stakes for women in a reinvigorated Act. The survey of PDA decisions is an important undertaking in its own right, since it is not widely appreciated just how much courts have narrowed the PDA's protections. The PDA cases are an increasingly sorry lot, including cases like the recent Fourth Circuit ruling in Young v. UPS, in which the court held that a pregnant woman could lawfully be denied a light-duty assignment necessitated by a medical restriction on lifting even though the company made such accommodations for on-the-job injuries, for disabilities entitled to accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and for conditions, medical or otherwise, leading to the loss of driving certification. As this article explains, the recent expansion of the ADA, which should redound to the benefit of PDA plaintiffs by increasing the pool of comparators, has ironically made matters worse.

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