28 day free trial

28 day free trial

28 day free trial

LawMemo - First in Employment Law

Home MyLawMemo About Us   Arbitrators

Celebrating our 23rd year.  Serving employment lawyers,
HR professionals, union representatives, and labor arbitrators.



On the Alert

Alert Archives

Denying light duty to pregnant workers
did not violate Title VII

EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East (7th Cir 08/16/2022)
Sent to Custom Alerts™ subscribers on 08/18/2022

The EEOC sued Walmart claiming that the denial of temporary light duty to pregnant employees violated Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The trial court granted summary judgment to Walmart, and the 7th Circuit affirmed.

Walmart offered temporary light duty to employees who were injured on the job, but did not offer similar light duty to employees who were pregnant or who were injured outside of their work for Walmart.

The EEOC argued that by accommodating all workers injured on the job, and denying all pregnant women a similar accommodation, Walmart engaged in sex discrimination.

The 7th Circuit applied the three step framework set out in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 575 US 206 (2015).

If a plaintiff can make a prima facie case,the burden shifts to the employer, at step two, to offer a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory” justification for denying the accommodation.

A plaintiff can overcome summary judgment at the third step by “providing sufficient evidence that the employer’s policies impose a significant burden on pregnant workers, and that the employer’s ‘legitimate, nondiscriminatory’ reasons are not sufficiently strong to justify the burden,” “giv[ing] rise to an inference of intentional discrimination.”

Walmart offered evidence that the purpose of its policy is to implement a worker’s compensation program that benefits Walmart’s employees while limiting the company’s “legal exposure” and costs of hiring people to replace injured workers.

As to step two, the 7th Circuit said, "Offering temporary light duty to workers injured on the job pursuant to a state worker’s compensation law is a 'legitimate, nondiscriminatory' justification for denying accommodations … to everyone else, such as individuals not injured on the job, including pregnant women.”

Finally, as to step three, the court said that the EEOC could not carry its burden of showing that the employer's reasons were not strong enough to justify the burden on pregnant workers. Walmart provided consistent rationale for its policy, and the court found that the burden on pregnant employees was not significant enough to outweigh Walmart's justifications.

Therefore, the EEOC was unable to create an inference of intentional discrimination.

Newest employment law court decisions.
Want them? Get them.
Employment Law Memo gets them to you first.
Custom Alerts™ get them to your exact criteria.
Get four weeks.   Free.   No hassle.   No risk.

28 day free trial



Home  |  MyLawMemo  |  Custom Alerts  |  Newest Cases  |  Key Word Search  
No-obligation trial  |  Arbitrators  |  Law Firms  |  Sample Memos 


Get your 28 day trial now 

Web www.LawMemo.com 
This form will search the LawMemo web site. 
It does not include Key Word Search.