As I wrote several months ago, light duty programs limiting participation to employees recovering from on-the-job injuries are being increasingly scrutinized by the EEOC (See post here) and that we have likely seen the end of those polices. The Washington Post reports today that UPS, despite having a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court over whether pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable accommodation in the form of light duty, has announced that it is expanding its light duty program to allow pregnant employees to participate and take light duty assignments. According to the Post,
[S]tarting January 1, the company will offer temporary light duty positions not just to workers injured on the job, which is current policy, but to pregnant workers who need it as well.
UPS’s shift illustrates that light duty policies limited to employees recovering from on-the-job injuries are being phased out in corporate America. If your company still has a light duty policy or program that limits eligibility solely to workers who had an on-the-job injury, you should reevaluate the eligibility factors for that policy (or whether the company should offer light duty at all) in light of the developments requiring employers with such policies to make them more broadly available.
Follow me on Twitter @RussellCawyer