Pregnancy Must Be Treated as a Temporary Disability for Job Related Purposes
Teuton, Robert W.
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Describes the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit’s decision in Wetzel v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. In Wetzel, female employees of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company sued claiming that the company was exercising discriminatory employment practices. Namely, the company treated pregnancy differently than any other disability-related leave of absence. Pregnant employees were not granted percentage payment of the employee’s normal income during the leave, and their employment would be terminated unless the employee returned to work the earlier of three months from delivery or six months from leave. The district court held that this plan violated section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the third circuit affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari which was pending at the time of this article. The author expects that this case marks the start of further litigation on these issues.