Sunday, December 15, 2013
Plaintiff failed to prove disability discrimination because she didn't show that her pregnancy and morning sickness constituted a “disability” under federal or state law, a federal judge ruledNov. 22 (Wonasue v. Univ. of Md. Alumni Ass'n, 2013 BL 326278, D. Md., No. 8:11-cv-03657-DKC, 11/22/13).
The court reasoned that pregnancy alone isn't a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act or the Maryland Employment Discrimination Law. It added that pregnancy-based medical complications may rise to the level of disability but felt contrained by 4th Circuit precedent which found that a similar plaintiff did not establish that this condition substantially limited a worker in the performance of a major life activity, as required to prove a disability.
But she may go forward with a retaliation claim under the Rehabilitation Act, the court decided.
Denying an employee experiencing pregnancy-related complications permission to work from home may constitute an adverse employment action for purposes of federal disability rights law.