Second Circuit clarifies ratios in pregnancy case

May 1, 2016
By: Charles Lamberton


A good analysis from the Second Circuit post-Young on a common defense argument – “The defendants perplexingly suggest that these figures show that pregnant employees were not significantly burdened because “only one of 176 COs were affected by this policy.” But under Young, the focus is on how many pregnant employees were denied accommodations in relation to the total number of pregnant employees, not how many were denied accommodations in relation to all employees, pregnant or not. The reason is simple enough; this comparison better reveals whether or not there is a burden on pregnant employees. If an employer has fifty pregnant employees and only five are adversely affected by its policy, it will be more difficult to draw an inference of a significant burden because many pregnant employees are able to or have taken advantage of the accommodation, providing less reason to believe that the policy is motivated by animus against pregnant employees. On the other hand, if an employer has just one pregnant employee and she has been adversely affected, then it has undoubtedly imposed a significant burden on its pregnant employees – it has burdened the only one it has. Contrary to the defendants’ implication, an employer cannot justify pregnancy discrimination by relying upon the fact that pregnant employees constitute an insignificant part of its workforce.” Legg v. Ulster County

Pittsburgh employment lawyer Charles A. Lamberton. Representing employees in discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment and wrongful termination cases for more than 15 years. High end representation for high end cases and clients. Contact us today.