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Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur

Significance, Mandatory Maternity Leave, A Violation Of Due Process?, Impact, Maternity Leave, Further Readings


Cleveland Board of Education, et al.


Jo Carol LaFleur, Ann Elizabeth Nelson

Petitioners' Claim

That a school board policy mandating that pregnant teachers go on an unpaid leave of absence beginning five months before the expected birth of the child and ending the school semester after the child is three months old was constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Charles F. Clarke

Chief Lawyer for Respondents

Jane M. Picker

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Potter Stewart (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 January 1974


Denied the petitioners' claim and upheld the ruling of the court of appeals that the school board's policy regarding mandatory unpaid leave for pregnant teachers violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and was not legally binding.

Related Cases

  • Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944).
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
  • Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974).


Eberlein, Tamara. "Get the Best Maternity Leave for You (and Your Baby)." Redbook, December 1997.

Sturgeon, Jeff. "General Electric Workers' Suit Paved Way for Paid Maternity Leave." Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, 12 October 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980