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Petty v. University of Delaware

450 A.2d 392 (Del. 1982)

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Petty v. University of Delaware

Supreme Court of Delaware

450 A.2d 392 (Del. 1982)

Facts

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

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Horsey, J.)

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