South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Medical Leave Policy Does Not Discriminate Against Pregnant Women
Description

New Jersey high court held that an employer that allowed employees to take up to 26 weeks medical leave and then return to work or be fired was a neutral policy that did not discriminate against pregnant women.

Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words

Sex Discrimination; Pregnancy; Medical Leave

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Gerety worked at a casino owned by CNOC in Atlantic City. A difficult pregnancy forced her to take leave. Under its policy, CNOC allowed her to take six months medical leave. After that was exhausted, CNOC told her she had to return to work or be fired. Since she was still pregnant, she did not return to work and was fired. She sued for sex discrimination, contending that the policy of 26 weeks leave discriminated against women who, in situations such as hers, needed more leave. The trial court refused to dismiss the suit. CNOC appealed.

Decision

Reversed and remanded. The medical leave policy does not illegally discriminate against pregnant women. The leave policy applied to all employees equally. The policy was not only applied to women who were pregnant. It was a neutral policy.

Citation  

Gerety v. Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, 877 A.2d 1233 (Sup. Ct., N.J., 2005)

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