The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Michigan, and Cary McGehee of the law firm Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers & Golden have filed an amended lawsuit in federal court today on behalf of a woman who was forced out of work after she became pregnant.
Asia Myers works as a certified nursing assistant at Hope Healthcare Center, a long-term care facility where she assists residents. Early in her pregnancy, she experienced complications and was told by her doctor that she could continue to work, but could not do any lifting on the job. Myers requested an accommodation from her employer. Despite the fact that the center had a history of providing light-duty accommodations to workers with temporary lifting restrictions, including workers who had been injured on the job, Myers was told not to return to work until the restrictions were lifted. She was out of work for 34 days with no wages and no health insurance. Myers was able to return to work after her doctor determined the complications had passed, but she suffered significant financial hardship from being out of work for a month.
Pregnancy discrimination is not only prohibited by the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, but also by a 2009 Michigan law that clearly forbids treating pregnant women differently from any other worker with similar physical limitations. In addition, workers with pregnancy-related complications or impairments may be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.