Legg v. Ulster Cnty., No. 14-3636 (2d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a corrections officer at the Ulster County Jail, filed suit against the County and its officials, alleging that the denial of her request for an accommodation under the County's light duty policy amounted to pregnancy discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. 2000e(k). The district court dismissed plaintiff's claim against the County and former Sheriff VanBlarcum. The district court granted defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law at the close of plaintiff’s direct case, reasoning that the policy could not be discriminatory because it was facially neutral with respect to pregnancy. While this appeal was pending, the Supreme Court decided Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., which held that an employer’s facially neutral accommodation policy gives rise to an inference of pregnancy discrimination if it imposes a significant burden on pregnant employees that is not justified by the employer’s non‐discriminatory explanation. In this case, the court concluded that plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to support a pregnancy discrimination claim under Young and therefore vacated the judgment in part and remanded with instructions to conduct a new trial. The court also vacated the post judgment orders and remanded for further proceedings.