Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,900+ case briefs...

Petty v. University of Delaware

Supreme Court of Delaware
450 A.2d 392 (Del. 1982)


Mercedes Petty (plaintiff) was a custodial worker for the University of Delaware (University) (defendant). After six years of employment, Petty became pregnant and began experiencing complications associated with her pregnancy. Petty’s doctor ordered her not to lift, climb, or stand for long periods of time. However, Petty’s job required her to sweep, vacuum, and move heavy objects. The University decided that Petty was unable to continue performing custodial work due to her medical restrictions. Furthermore, because Petty only had experience in jobs requiring manual labor and had no secretarial skills, the University determined that there were no other positions in which to place Petty. The University therefore placed Petty on maternity leave without pay for the duration of her medical restrictions. Petty applied for unemployment-compensation benefits. The Delaware Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (Board) found that Petty was not qualified for benefits because she was unable to perform any job for which she was qualified. The superior court affirmed. Petty appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Horsey, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 284,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,900 briefs, keyed to 201 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.