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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
Published by: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3431396
Page Count: 16
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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.
Environmental Health Perspectives © 1993 The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences