Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls: Employers Can't Exclude Women from Hazardous Jobs

Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls: Employers Can't Exclude Women from Hazardous Jobs


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Decided: Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc - The Supreme Court rules unanimously that employers cannot exclude women of childbearing age from well-paying but hazardous jobs based on a purported desire to protect a hypothetical fetus. This has been a common policy in many industries which leads to significant inequality for women in pay and promotion.

In this particular case, Johnson Controls has been excluding all fertile women, but no fertile men, from jobs where they might be exposed to lead toxins.

According to the Supreme Court's decision:

"Concern for a woman's existing or potential offspring historically has been the excuse for denying women equal employment opportunities. Congress in the PDA prohibited discrimination on the basis of a woman's ability to become pregnant. We do no more than hold that the PDA means what it says."
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