Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), enacted in 1993, was designed to address discrimination against workers who become pregnant, such as firing them or refusing to promote them when they need to take time off for pregnancy-related care and childbirth, or forcing them off the job by refusing to accommodate some women’s temporary restrictions on heavy lifting or other physical job duties. The FMLA also protects against employers that discriminate against women workers more generally, by firing or refusing to hire or promote women based on stereotypical assumptions that women in a certain age bracket will — or should — get pregnant, have children, and cost the employer money by leaving the workplace or shifting to a less work-intensive "mommy track."

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:03am
This week, the Supreme Court ruled, by the all-too-familiar 5-4 margin, that a provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) giving workers time off to care for their own serious health conditions — including pregnancy and childbirth — can't be enforced by state employees in damages lawsuits against their public employers. The decision in Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland effectively stripped many public employees — the majority of whom are women — of the right to job protection when they need to take time off while pregnant. The ACLU had joined an amicus brief arguing that the law was written in a gender-neutral way to provide women workers with the time they needed to go through childbirth and pregnancy-related complications, while ensuring that employers wouldn't discriminate based on the assumption that only women will need to take health-related leave from their jobs. While no opinion garnered five votes, a majority of the Court agreed that the law was not justified as a remedy for a pattern of unconstitutional discrimination against women or pregnant workers.
UPS Pushed Me Out Of The Workplace When I Got Pregnant

UPS Pushed Me Out Of The Workplace When I Got Pregnant

By Julie Desantis-Mayer at 4:15pm

I've worked at United Parcel Service (UPS) for almost 10 years.  Initially I got this job because I needed a part-time job with benefits while attending college and UPS seemed like an ideal place to work. Reality set in nine years later when I…

Tear Down the “Maternal Wall!” FMLA Protects Women in the Workplace

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:08am

More than 30 years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers still engage in two kinds of pregnancy-related sex discrimination. First, they discriminate outright against workers who get pregnant — firing them or refusing…

Pregnancy Discrimination: Another Battleground in the War on Women

Pregnancy Discrimination: Another Battleground in the War on Women

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:32pm

Access to birth control, forced ultrasounds – lately there’s been a lot of news about efforts to roll women’s rights back by decades. Less attention has been paid to the way in which pregnant women and nursing mothers have been…

The Congressional Evolution on DOMA

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:19am

There is an intriguing story behind the recent Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) headlines, one that mirrors trends in public opinion surveys, but involves a group you might not expect — members of Congress who voted for the law in 1996, but…

Protection for Women Workers at Stake in Coleman

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vivian Costandy, Women's Rights Project at 3:19pm

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the most significant case about the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and sex discrimination in employment since the landmark 2003 case Nevada Dep’t of Human Resources v. Hibbs. The case…

Family and Medical Leave Act: Happy Sweet 16

By Kacie Wielgus, Washington Legislative Office at 3:05pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

February 5 is always bittersweet for me. It marks the anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). That’s the sweet part.

This amazing law allows an employee to take unpaid…

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