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Court Reiterates that Pregnancy Alone Not a Disability

Whitney LaCount worked for South Lewis SH OPCO LLC as a certified nursing assistant. She found out that she was five weeks pregnant and let her supervisor know. Ms. LaCount told the supervisor that she could perform all of her duties except the lifting of one particular resident. She continued to lift this resident until she was able to get a doctor’s note. When she was 13 weeks pregnant, the doctor restricted her from lifting more than 25 lbs. The facility placed her on medical leave because of the restriction. When her 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act leave was over, Ms. LaCount was terminated.

Ms. LaCount sued, asserting that she had been fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and based on her pregnancy.

The federal district court first addressed the ADA claim. It stated that “a normal pregnancy is not a physical or mental impairment, but physical or mental impairments caused by an abnormal or unusual pregnancy may be considered a disability.” Ms. LaCount did not claim that she had a high-risk or abnormal pregnancy so she did not have a disability under the ADA, according to the court. With regard to her pregnancy discrimination claim, Ms. LaCount did not allege sufficient facts to support it. While Ms. LaCount claimed that other employees were accommodated for non-pregnancy impairments, she did not provide any information as to the nature of the impairments or how the employees were accommodated. Without being able to show that she was treated differently than other similarly situated employees, her pregnancy discrimination claim was also dismissed.