The refusal by the Kroger Company to make a reasonable and modest accommodation for a pregnant employee with a lifting restriction has resulted in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the company. This is the pregnancy discrimination complaint against Kroger.
Here's the background, which may sound familiar. The plaintiff, Jessica Craddock, had worked two years at Kroger when she became pregnant. Complications developed as her pregnancy progressed, and her doctor provided a note asking that she be excused from lifting more than 10 lbs. due to her pregnancy. Kroger went along at first, but then relented and told Craddock that she would have to take leave if she could not work without restriction. A manager told her that Kroger policy permitted such accommodations only where they were caused by a work-related injury, something occurring on the job.
The complaint makes two claims against Kroger: (1) its practice of accommodating only physical restrictions caused by work-related injuries but not pregnancy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act; and, (2) the blanket refusal to consider accommodation of the disability caused by the pregnancy violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
The complaint seeks class action status, which, if granted, would include employees employed in the Kroger division covering parts of Tennessee, Alabama and southern Kentucky.
The cases raised many of the same issues that were presented in the pregnancy discrimination case that the Supreme Court decided last year, Pregnancy Discrimination - An Employer Must Accommodate A Pregnant Employee As Done Other Employees "Similar In Their Ability or Inability To Work," Supreme Court Rules. I've discussed pregnancy discrimination cases over the course of the last few years a number of times: Female Banking Executive Files Pregnancy Discrimination Suit, Pregnancy Discrimination Case Settled for $140,000, Pregnancy Discrimination Act in the Supreme Court, and Pregnancy Discrimination Suit Against Police Department Settled.
Lexington, Kentucky discrimination lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in discrimination cases across Kentucky and elsewhere; contact him at 859-254-7076.