Hedging interviewed for the position with Fiber employees Carlen Cox and Ron Samples on February 16, 2001 , during the Interview Hygiene was told that there was a lifting requirement was 25 pounds. Hedging was offered the Job contingent on successful completion of a physical examination, nor was she was told what constituted “successful results”, She completed her exam two days later and in the process of filing out the medical history form she disclosed she was pregnant. In the exam DRP. Estranger also learned of her pregnancy and Instructed her to have her primary physician complete her deiced clearance.
Her primary gave her clearance of 20-30 pounds initially, and Hedging reported for duty two days later, it was then that Cox learned that Hedging was pregnant, which he sent Hygiene home until confirmation of her medical examination. Learning this information Longevity Fiber increased the lifting requirements two additional times to a maximum of 60 pounds, claiming it was a bona fide occupational qualification and rescinded her offer of employment as her because her availability did not permit her to perform the Job.
A job analysis was employed by Margaret Rhodes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator (EEOC), to determine the lifting requirements for this particular postal “Rhodes relied on the information in Heron’s third medical clearance form and did not (1) inform Hedging or Heron that the Job now had a 60 pound lifting requirement; or (2) Inquire whether Hedging could in fact meet this new requirement. (Find A Case, 2006) ARGUMENT FOR PLAINTIFF Hygiene sued Longevity Fiber for gender and pregnancy discrimination largely based on the Washington Human Rights Commission regulations prohibiting discrimination against women because of pregnancy or childbirth. ARGUMENT FOR DEFENDANT Longevity Fiber believes that they did not rescind Higgins’s offer of employment because of her pregnancy but, rather, because Hedging was unable to perform an essential function of the order checker position and that her pregnancy was a disability that did not require accommodations as lifting was an essential requirement for the Job.
The Supreme Court decided that under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WALD) and along with regulations in the Washington Administrative Code, arrogance-related disparate treatment is not subject to a disability accommodation analysis. Instead, it is a form of sex discrimination. The Court noted that an employer may be able to Justify rejecting a pregnant 3/7/2013 applicant based on business necessity or a bona fide occupational qualification, but the evidence must support those grounds.
The Court concluded that though Fiber asserted the lifting requirement was a business necessity, the repeated increases in that requirement after Higgins’s pregnancy was disclosed and the shifting explanation for the rejection decision established as a matter of law that Fibber’s decision not to hire Hedging reflected pregnancy-based discrimination.
Lastly the Supreme Court concluded that even asking about pregnancy was an unfair employment practice because there was no reason to believe that pregnancy was inconsistent with the requirements of this Job (Laws, 2007) and that pregnancy is not a disability, so employers should not be evaluating employment in the language and with the procedures used for disability law (“essential functions” and “accommodation” being the most common). Laws, 2007).