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.
, 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.
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.
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|