Push for contraceptive coverage gets shove from federal court

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

If you're not already covering prescription contraceptives with your health plan, there's new pressure to do so.

For the first time, a federal court has ruled that excluding contraceptives from a broad health plan violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The opinion by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington said that excluding contraceptives was not a neutral policy because it resulted in a gender gap in the comprehensiveness of the coverage. (Erickson v. Bartell Drug Co., No. C00-1213L, W.D. Wash., 2001)

The ruling is in line with a recent decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (YATL, January 2001, p. 5)

Several groups also are pushing legislatures to mandate coverage for contraceptives, even by employers who have fewer than 15 employees and aren't subject to Title VII.

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