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Supreme Court decides Hulteen pregnancy discrimination case

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in Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Claims of pregnancy discrimination have gained attention again with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen (07-543, U.S., 2009).

In Hulteen, a current employee and other retired employees who had taken pregnancy leave while employed by AT&T alleged in 1998 that the company violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when it paid pension benefits calculated in part under an accrual rule that gave less retirement credit for pregnancy leave than for general medical leave.

This differential treatment of pregnancy leave had been AT&T’s policy before the PDA was enacted in 1978. In 1976, the Supreme Court—in General Elec. Co. v. Gilbert (429 U.S. 125, 1976)—found that kind of treatment to be nondiscriminatory and lawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

When the PDA took effect in 1979, AT&T adopted a new disability plan that modified its provision of service credit for pregnancy le...(register to read more)

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