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Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur

Maternity Leave

In December of 1997, the women's magazine Redbook ran a long series of articles advising women how to make the most of the maternity-leave opportunities afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The latter guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the 2.1 million working American women who give birth or adopt children each year, but according to the article, its provisions do not go far enough.

Yet there was a time when expectations were much lower, a time when Martha Gilbert and other female employees at various General Electric plants in Virginia filed lawsuits against an employer who--like many in the 1970s and before--simply made no provisions whatever for maternity leave. The case came before the Supreme Court as General Electric Co. v. Gilbert (1976), and though the company won the appeal, Gilbert and other women ultimately won: in 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation adding provisions regarding pregnancy discrimination to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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