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Congressional Investigation called for XPO Logistics over Allegations of Pregnancy Discrimination

2018-12-07

Poor working conditions and failure to accommodate pregnant workers allegedly led to miscarriages

On December 4, 2018 ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives called for a congressional investigation into the working conditions at XPO Logistics’ Memphis warehouse after complaints of pregnancy discrimination.
The New York Times conducted an investigation that revealed in October 2018 that several women who packaged Verizon products had miscarriages.  The women lift and drag boxes weighing up to 45 pounds, filled with iPhones and other gadgets in an environment with no air-conditioning where temperatures can rise past 100 degrees.  According to interviews with 20 current and former employees, workers often faint due to these conditions. 

The women alleged that XPO managers refused their requests for light duty and, at times, ignored their doctors’ recommendation of a reprieve.  The lawmakers also urged the committee to consider the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that would compel employers to accommodate pregnant women unless doing so imposed an undue hardship.  Under current law, employers have to provide light duty or extra rest breaks for pregnant workers only if they are doing so for other workers.

In letters written by nine senators to the chief executives at XPO, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut said that allegations of pregnancy discrimination were “egregious” and called for Congress to “act immediately to ensure pregnant women are adequately protected in the workplace.”

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.