Reason #238 that we should have another woman on the Supreme Court

by cv harquail on May 19, 2009


From Feministing. com

Really, Ann Friedman nails it. No sense in trying to recap this… just head to the full article. (captioned photo from Feministing)

Supreme Court: Pregnancy discrimination A-OK!

“Today our nation’s highest court ruled in AT&T v. Hulteen that women who took maternity leave and were discriminated against by AT&T are shit out of luck.

Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed, when women took leave from their AT&T jobs to have a baby, those days did not count toward their pensions — even though other types of leave, such as temporary disability, were not removed from the pension equation. So when the women went to retire, they had lower pensions than other employees who had worked there the same number of years, even those who had taken leave for other reasons.

AT&T lawyers said their pension plan was legal when the women took pregnancy leave, so they shouldn’t have to recalculate their retirement benefits now. Congress did not make the Pregnancy Discrimination Act retroactive, they said, so the women should not get any extra money.

A majority of the justices agreed. “A seniority system does not necessarily violate the statute when it gives current effect to such rules that operated before the PDA,” wrote Justice David Souter, who will retire next month.

Basically seven members of the Supreme Court are saying, “You were discriminated against? You’re about to retire with less money because of it? Tough.””

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