The U.S. Supreme Court, in General Electric v. Gilbert, held that the exclusion of pregnancy benefits from General Electric's general coverage disability plan for employees did not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. General Electric's disability plan provided sickness and accident benefits for all employees, including those who became disabled as a result of a non-occupational sickness or accident. The plaintiffs in the initial suit were hourly paid production workers in General Electric's Salem, Virginia, plant, each of whom had become pregnant and had filed a claim for disability benefits. Each had been denied payment on the ground that the plan excluded pregnancy from its coverage. Plaintiffs then filed a class action suit in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking damages and injunctive relief. The district court held that General Electric's exclusion of pregnancy benefits from its general coverage plan did violate Title VII. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, and this appeal followed.
McKenzie, Dewey Ray Jr.
"Denying Maternity Benefits Is Not Sex Discrimination Under Title VII,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 28:
4, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol28/iss4/11