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Litigating Reproductive and Developmental Health in the Aftermath of "UAW versus Johnson Controls"

Carin Ann Clauss, Marsha Berzon and Joan Bertin
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 101, Supplement 2: Impact of the Environment on Reproductive Health (Jul., 1993), pp. 205-220
DOI: 10.2307/3431396
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3431396
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Litigating Reproductive and Developmental Health in the Aftermath of "UAW versus Johnson Controls"
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Abstract

In a major decision handed down last term (International Union [UAW] versus Johnson Controls, Inc.), the Supreme Court ruled that employment practices excluding fertile or pregnant women from the workplace because of alleged concerns for fetal health constitute illegal sex discrimination. We analyze the three opinions in the case and explain why the decision was an essential first step to promoting reproductive and developmental health in the workplace. Continued progress toward eliminating or reducing reproductive occupational risks will require comprehensive legal strategies involving private lawsuits, governmental regulation and enforcement actions, and new legislation designed to preserve the existing rights of workers and to obtain new and additional protections. Finally, we caution that, in designing such strategies, it will be important to avoid solutions that either shift responsibility for reproductive health to workers, rather than to employers, or that undermine other important legal rights.

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