A U.S. appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit against Walmart from a civil rights agency.

The retail giant was in court over a claim its policy of giving lighter work to staff who had been injured at work did not include pregnant women.

But judges decided did include pregnant women and threw out the case.

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This was regarding finding that the retail giant’s previous policy of offering lighter assignments to warehouse workers hurt on the job but denying them to pregnant staff was not discriminatory.

The court ruled that the 2014 Walmart policy that reserved lifting restrictions and other “light duty” for employees with work-related injuries applied equally to all workers, including pregnant ones, according to a unanimous three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit was originally launched in 2018 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

It charged Walmart with discriminating against pregnant workers at a warehouse in Menomonie, Wisconsin by turning down their requests for limitations on lifting and other strenuous activities.

The verdict upheld a federal judge’s decision in Wisconsin to grant Walmart summary judgment.

In court documents, Walmart has denied wrongdoing and stated in 2017 it had added pregnant employees to its light duty policy.

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The EEOC brought the suit after a number of complaints were made to the company by advocacy groups on behalf of Walmart employees who had been refused pregnancy accommodations.

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In the 2014 decision Young v. UPS, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires businesses to provide pregnant employees with the same accommodations as they do for employees with other impairments.

According to Circuit Judge David Hamilton, Walmart only provided accommodations to employees who were hurt on the job and would have otherwise received workers’ compensation, in contrast to UPS, which in the 2014 case provided them for a variety of reasons aside than pregnancy.

The panel included Circuit Judges Daniel Manion and Michael Brennan.

Walmart and the EEOC did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Source: Reuters

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