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United Parcel Service Inc. will pay $2.25 million to workers who suffered losses because they were not accommodated during pregnancy between 2012 and 2014, said the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday.
The payment resolved a pregnancy discrimination charge that was investigated by the EEOC. No litigation was filed in the matter, according to the statement.
The EEOC said until 2015, when its policy was changed, UPS provided accommodations in the form of light duty assignments to UPS workers injured on the job, those with certain driving restrictions and those with disabilities, but did not provide light duty to pregnant employees.
A UPS driver alleged the failure to accommodate pregnant workers violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. While that former driver resolved her individual charge with UPS, the EEOC’s investigation focused on other pregnant UPS workers who were not accommodated, the statement said.
The conciliation agreement with the EEOC provides for payment to relevant UPS workers that primarily consists of the difference between short-term disability payments they received and the amount they would have received if they had been allowed to work, said the statement.
The agreement also clarifies that UPS’s obligation to accommodate pregnant workers extends to both unionized and nonunionized employees.
"The EEOC commends UPS for agreeing to resolve this matter short of litigation by making whole UPS workers who were not accommodated during pregnancy under UPS's previous policy," said Kevin Berry, director of the EEOC's New York District Office.
"I also applaud UPS for confirming that it will accommodate both union and non-union employees, and that accommodation may take forms other than light duty assignment.
UPS said in a statement it “works closely with our female employees to make their work experience a positive one throughout their pregnancies, the births of their children, and caring for related medical conditions.
“Our maternity leave benefits have included paid time off and opportunities for light duty work assignments for several years, and this agreement reinforces that commitment.
“This agreement essentially confirms the policies that UPS made effective on January 1, 2015 to provide pregnant employees with light duty or alternative work assignments.
Humana Inc. agreed in March to pay $500,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs to settle a pregnancy discrimination case.
U.S.-based FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. have suspended operations at Puerto Rico's Luis Munoz Marín International Airport since Sep. 5 in anticipation of the category 5 hurricane Irma, Air Cargo World reported. Forwarders at the airport have suspended operations in anticipation of widespread damage to infrastructure and power outages that could last for weeks if the storm makes landfall on Sep. 6.