UPS Pushed Me Out Of The Workplace When I Got Pregnant

I've worked at United Parcel Service (UPS) for almost 10 years.  Initially I got this job because I needed a part-time job with benefits while attending college and UPS seemed like an ideal place to work. Reality set in nine years later when I became pregnant.

At the time of my pregnancy I was classified as a full-time driver. The work that a driver does is extremely demanding, and many of those hired don’t actually last. Being a driver is strenuous and physically exhausting. During the busy season I work up to 14 hours a day under harsh conditions, and during the summer rush, the size and weight of the packages explode.

Upon learning about my pregnancy I informed my manager, who was not sympathetic at all. I requested a light duty position on numerous occasions and was told there were none available. I found this hard to believe. For instance, in January of 2012 I was injured on the job and was given light duty that consisted of washing windows and secretarial work; I would have been happy to do either of these jobs during my pregnancy.

UPS employee Julie Mayer and her new daughter.

UPS repeatedly claimed they had no work for me, but the experiences of my co-workers told a different story. During this time, my employer offered temporary work assignments to several people, some of whom were injured on the job, others of whom were unable to do their regular jobs for different reasons. In one case, they created a position for a driver who lost his license for driving under the influence. I did not feel this was fair. The tasks they had these employees doing were things like peeling labels, washing windows and answering phones - all things I was capable of doing.

A secretary had resigned around the same time I became pregnant. I have done her job in the past while she was on leave and I was already trained. My boss refused to allow me to do her job saying he didn’t want to set a precedent of making accommodations for pregnant workers. Instead, UPS hired a new employee and sent me packing. The accommodation I was requesting was temporary, and would only last for the remainder of my pregnancy. Instead, I was forced to leave work altogether for the duration of my pregnancy, even though I was willing and able to keep working.

Treating pregnant workers equally when it comes to accommodations is important – an idea UPS seems unwilling to acknowledge. Women like me who work in male-dominated industries are tossed to the side when we choose to start or grow our families. I was forced to give up my salary and benefits in order to become a mother – an unfair and unnecessary choice. Women have been fighting the stereotype that they should be barefoot and pregnant, instead of at work, for years. It’s time for UPS to respect both the law and its pregnant workers.

Julie Desantis-Mayer has worked for UPS for nearly ten years. Represented by the ACLU and NYCLU, she filed a complaint against her employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We argue that UPS’s actions violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the New York State Human Rights Law.

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Anonymous

The ACLU might get more support for reproductive rights if the fought for all people. As I have NO reproductive rights I'm not really interested in fighting for more reproductive rights for those who already have more.

Anonymous

This story is a lie and I know this because I am the women that the driver is speaking of claiming I was a secretary which I was not. This driver was not pushed out or fired she is still currently working for UPS and will return from her materiny leave in Feb. The are valid reasons for why this driver was not allowed to take my job. One was because I was not a secretary I was a supervisor I was in managent . So the only way this driver could have replaced me while I was out on Materity leave or when I left UPS, which was 11 months after this driver states this all happened she would have had to become managment. This would be like me saying I want to be a driver because I can not do my job. The driver did not get pushed out of UPS she still currently works for UPS and will return from her leave in February. This article is false!

JarMan

Sorry, I don't feel bad for you; as a matter of fact I am more upset you took this opportunity and attempted to make it into another battle of the sexes.

I guess I'd feel worse about this if men weren't treated just as poorly when it came to parent rights, custody battles and child support.

Women have the freedom to murder Men's children (abortions) and give them away (adoptions) without having to consult the father. Women are also treated much better in most custody battles when it concerns children.

Instead why don't you try to make this about a company that is treating you poorly instead of more feminist propaganda you stupid bitch.

Anonymous

"No reproductive rights?" I'm guessing male. If I'm wrong, I apologize but I'd love to hear what you mean. If you are male, then you're flat-out part of the problem. This concept that accommodating a woman who has gotten pregnant is somehow creating a "special right" for her is one of the most degrading viewpoints regarding a woman's place in society.

But do tell, what rights are you denied? Go on. I'm sure I'll love to hear it.

Anonymous

If it was a high risk pregnancy she would have gotten disability, right? Pregnancy is not a disability.

Anonymous

The fact that men have no reproductive rights is a good thing, I agree with #4 Men ARE THE PROBLEM. The only thing they have the "right" to do is pay child support, good! I see no problem with this. As for the family courts being biased a child’s place is with their mothers, fathers are unnecessary, except to pay bills.

postingnow

I agree with # 4, Men are the PROBLEM. The reason they have no reproductive rights is GOD didn't give them any. The family courts are correct in excluding men from parental rolls (other than child support which men don't want to pay anyway). If I get pregnant i'ts my body, I decide whether to carry the baby and weather to list them as the father or not. If I want to raise the child on my own It's MY decision If I want to give the baby up for adoption It's MY choice. Men are dead-beats who just don't want to pay child support.

To darlene

The women who work in the offices at ups are secretaries not supervisor. I know you wish you were management Darlene but you weren't and never will be. There are many jobs pregnant women could and can do at ups. That is the agenda. Your position could have been temporarily filled and wasn't. I was sent packing from April till end of February. How many outsiders did they hire in that time. There was many things one could do. Dont kid yourself because you know they are wrong. I could have delivered air or worked in small sorts. I was ready willing and able to work. I don't recall seeing you do much of anything during your entire pregnancy at ups other than pick up a phone. So shame on me for not wanting to endanger my unborn baby.

jr23

what did the union do they get a very expensive dues every pay from these people they are the ones to grievance the co over or ar the teamsters too busy spending the members dues on politics instead of protecting there workers

Anonymous

U.p.s is not the company that it once was . I have been working at u.p.s louisville 15 years of those 15 ,13.5 Have been in management . Over the last 6 years U.P.S has taken more from the management than I have ever thought possible just to boost shot term #s and random acts of pure greed . Over the last three years U.P.S has been reaping what they have sown literally. Starting with there part time supervisor pools and full time supervisors pool . U.p.s is punishing these sups over and over taking them for whatever they can . When I asked a division manager why ha said . "The true next gen leaders of this company will stick it out and try harder for the next step up all others will sit and rot.." I replied think again the true talented sups are fed up with company bull ,quit and move on to greener pastures and we are left with drunk history degree butt kissers that have no skills as a leaders at all just paper pushers... Think I'm wrong check out Fed X in louisville Ky some of there take charge leaders come from U.P.S World Hub Louisville . Most I knew as take charge sups and full time sups .. What does all of this mean . That the saturation of the management of U.P.S is starting to rot from the smell of talentless ass kissers with no ability to run any operation.

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