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Center for American Progress

POLL: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Say Supreme Court Should Side with Employee Who Was Denied Reasonable Accommodations During Pregnancy
Press Release

POLL: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Say Supreme Court Should Side with Employee Who Was Denied Reasonable Accommodations During Pregnancy

Washington, D.C. — Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the pregnancy discrimination case Young v. United Parcel Service, a new poll released today finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans—79 percent—believe that the Supreme Court should side with Peggy Young. Young, a former United Parcel Service, or UPS, driver, charged UPS with violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act after the company denied her request for temporary light duty after Young’s doctor recommended she refrain from heavy lifting during her pregnancy.

The poll—conducted by The Feldman Group and commissioned by the Center for American Progress—finds strong majority support for Young across age, race, gender, and geographic region, with all groups expressing support for Young at a rate of 73 percent or higher. Moreover, support for Young crosses political lines, with 88 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of pro-choice advocates, and 73 percent of pro-life advocates all expressing support for Young.

Conversely, only 12 percent of respondents say the Supreme Court should side with UPS.

“Peggy Young was forced into an impossible and unnecessary decision that no woman should have to make: choosing between the safety and health of her pregnancy and the security of her job,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. “Americans overwhelmingly understand the importance of employers providing women reasonable accommodations during their pregnancies. As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, I hope the justices act to ensure that no woman is forced to choose between the well-being of her pregnancy and continued employment.”

Even after hearing both sides of the argument, the poll finds that 75 percent continue to support Young—down from 79 percent support—while 16 percent support UPS—up from 12 percent support. UPS’ arguments are ultimately unpersuasive, resulting in a stunningly small 4 point shift and leaving the overwhelming majority supporting Young intact.

The poll also finds strong support for the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, with 86 percent of respondents expressing approval of the law, including 54 percent who strongly approve.

In October, UPS announced in a memo to employees that the company will change its policy to better accommodate pregnant employees, effective January 1, 2015. However, UPS maintains that the company’s decision to deny Young temporary light duty was lawful at the time the decision was made.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Young v. United Parcel Service on December 3.

View the poll results here.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, contact Chelsea Kiene at [email protected] or 202.478.5328.