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Employers Can Deny 'Light Duty' to Pregnant Women

Amanda Reeves learned she was pregnant in November 2002, three months after starting work as a truck driver for Swift Transportation Co. Inc. While she had never unloaded her truck or carried heavy loads, the job required her to be able to push or pull freight weighing up to 200 pounds and carry 75 pounds up to 56 feet. Her obstetrician told her she could continue to work if she performed only "light work," lifting no more than 20 pounds. When she presented the doctor's letter, her supervisor sent her home, saying there was no light work available. She called in daily, asking for light work, but after a few weeks, Swift terminated her.

In doing so, the company followed its policy of offering light duty only to those employees who are injured on the job, and terminating those who were unable to perform their normal duties due to non-work-related injuries or illnesses--including pregnancy.

Senior Editor

Mary Swanton

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