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Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur

Impact

Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur marked a milestone in the legal status of women in the workplace. With mandatory maternity leaves, not to mention the arbitrary firing of employees who became pregnant, rendered effectively unconstitutional, employers were forced to devise human resources policies more accommodating to the unique needs of women. Significantly, however, the Court found the policy unconstitutional with regard to the Due Process Clause and not the Equal Protection Cause as the respondents had originally argued. As such, this case was of limited value as a legal precedent for other cases involving the rights of women in the workplace. This legal limitation was soon demonstrated in Geduldig v. Aiello (1974), in which the Court ruled that the state of California did not have to offer medical coverage of pregnancy-related medical expenses for its employees. In the end, it took legislative activity in the form of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 to establish that employers must treat pregnancy as any other physical condition.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur - Significance, Mandatory Maternity Leave, A Violation Of Due Process?, Impact, Maternity Leave, Further Readings