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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ind. Decisions - "Women Battling Infertility Find a Friend in the Court"

That is the headline to a column (Work and Family) in the Wall Street Journal. written by Sue Shellenbarger. Here is the link, but I can't tell if it is generally available. Here is a quote:

In the first decision of its kind at the federal appeals-court level, a three-judge panel in Chicago found women who need time off work for infertility treatment may invoke the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as potential protection against adverse action. The ruling came in a case involving Cheryl Hall, a secretary who was laid off after taking time off for in vitro fertilization, then asking for more. Without ruling on the merits of her case, the court last month set a precedent by giving Ms. Hall a green light to sue her former employer for pregnancy-related bias. * * *

The ruling suggests women will have to worry less about the "repercussions of taking time off for IVF," says Eugene Hollander, Ms. Hall's attorney. A spokesman for Ms. Hall's former employer, Nalco, declined to comment on the case, but it said the company is committed to treating all employees fairly. Nalco is seeking a re-hearing before a full 11-judge panel of the court. While the decision applies only in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, it could influence other courts or, if a conflict arises, trigger a Supreme Court petition.

Here is the July 16th 7th Circuit opinion, in a case out of Illinois, Cheryl Hall v. Nalco Company.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 20, 2008 05:48 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions