International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview
benefits and differential pension benefit deductions continued until 1978; and differential pension payouts continued until 1983.The Supreme Court in Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 ( 1977) established that the bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception must be narrowly construed with regard to female employment opportunities. The 1980s saw the Court advance gender discrimination to a level more commensurate with its decisions regarding race. With respect to affirmative action plans to remedy gender discrepancies, the Supreme Court in Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 ( 1980) upheld appointment of a female supervisor through an agency's voluntary affirmative action plan to remedy underrepresentation or nonpromotion of women.
Civil Rights Act of 1991
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 established a "Glass Ceiling" Commission to study how business fills management and executive positions, how women and minorities gain qualifications for management or executive jobs, and how pay and reward structures affect women and minorities (see glass ceiling). COLE BLEASE GRAHAM, JR.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Guy, M. E., 1993. "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Backward: The Status of Women's Integration into Public Management". Public Administration Review (July-August) 285-292.

Kelly, R. M., and J. Bayes, eds. 1988. Comparable Worth Pay Equity, and Public Policy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Rhode, D., 1989. Justice and Gender. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

DISCRIMINATION, PREGNANCY. Practices by which employers arbitrarily treat or avoid obligations to pregnant employees. Unequal treatment of an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical conditions is unlawful sex discrimination.
Origin and Subsequent History
Unlawful sex discrimination in the form of arbitrary treatment of pregnant employees or disregard of an employer's obligations to an employee who becomes pregnant was first defined in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC) guidelines in 1972. Before 1972, the EEOC's position was that disability insurance programs excluding pregnancy were not gender discrimination. The 1972 guidelines held that a plan excluding pregnancy from a comprehensive disability benefits program was discriminatory.In Cleveland Board of Education v. Lafleur, 414 U.S. 632 ( 1974), the United States Supreme Court found that arbitrarily required maternity leave for an employed female worker violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Unpaid maternity leave required for pregnant teachers five months before expected childbirth was unconstitutional. Although the case looked to the U.S. Constitution in this instance, the case did not address treatment that may be based on statutes.Subsequently, the Supreme Court did not agree with the EEOC's 1972 guidelines. In General Electric v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125 ( 1976), the Court ruled that Title VII was not violated if an employer excluded pregnancy-related disabilities from its comprehensive disability plan. Despite difficulty in explaining how denial of pregnancy benefits does not relate to gender, the Court did not find an intent to discriminate through denial of pregnancy benefits and it did not apply an adverse impact standard. Also, the fact that women annually collect more in benefits program payments than men seemed important in the decision.As a result, women were largely denied disability benefits due to pregnancy until 1978 when, in response to Gilbert, the U.S. Congress passed an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA-78).
Current Practice in the United States
The pregnancy discrimination amendment to the Civil Rights Act has some specific features which establish that:
1. Title VII is directly, prima facie, violated if an employer has a written employment policy or unwritten employment practice through which applicants are excluded or employees separated from a job because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;
2. A disability which results from or is contributed to by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same for all job purposes as any other disability caused or contributed to by any medical condition with regard to insurance for health or disability and with regard to any sick leave plan. A pregnancy-related disability has to be treated the same as other disabilities. This applies to written employment policies or unwritten employment practices involving such decisions as: (1) when leave begins and ends; (2) whether extensions to leave are available; (3) how seniority and other benefits or privileges accrue during disabilities; or (4) formal or informal payment or reinstatement under any health insurance, disability insurance, or sick leave plan. Although abortion benefits may be granted by an employer, the PDA-78 does not require an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for an abortion. However, in health benefits programs for which employers pay, abortion benefits may not be denied for a mother who would be endangered by a full-term pregnancy or for an individual for whom medical complications have resulted from an abortion; and

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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