On November 14, 2018, the Women’s Rights Project and the ACLU of Alabama, along with Birmingham-based solo practitioner Heather Leonard, filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a pregnancy discrimination case on behalf of Kimberlie Michelle Durham. Durham was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with Rural/Metro Corporation until the company refused to accommodate a restriction on heavy lifting imposed by her doctor. Despite maintaining a policy and practice of providing temporary modified duty assignments to EMTs injured on the job, Rural/Metro refused to provide Durham with such an assignment and instead forced her onto unpaid leave – six months before her due date. In October 2018, a federal court dismissed Durham’s case. Although the Supreme Court in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (2015) had announced new legal standards for evaluating pregnancy accommodation claims, the district court applied outdated precedent, prompting the current appeal. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a coalition of twenty women's and workers' rights groups filed amicus briefs supporting Durham.
Watch Durham's Congressional testimony on behalf of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act here.
Watch the CBS special, "Fighting for Overdue Protections for Pregnant Workers," featuring Durham here.