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Week 2: Pregnancy Discrimination

Week 2: Pregnancy Discrimination

Discussion Week 2

Pregnancy Discrimination

From your readings on pregnancy discrimination, give a brief on your opinion and understanding about the policies on the discrimination. Also add a note on what changes can be made to them.1964 Case Example:  Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 US 321 (1977)

Issue: Whether the employer’s requirement that prison guards be 5’4 in height and weigh at least 120 pounds discriminates against women in violation of Title VII.

Facts: After her application for employment as an Alabama prison guard was rejected because the applicant, Rawlinson, failed to meet the minimum 120-pound weight, 5’4 height requirement of an Alabama statute, Rawlinson sued. She challenged the statutory height and weight requirements and a regulation establishing gender criteria for assigning prison guards to “contact” positions (those requiring close physical proximity to inmates) as violative of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Supreme Court found gender discrimination.

Decision: The Court held that Alabama’s argument that the requirements have a relationship to strength, a sufficient but unspecified amount of which is essential to effective job performance as a correctional counselor failed because they failed to offer any evidence in justification of the statutory standards. The court said that Alabama could have used a validated test to measure strength directly, but it did not do so.Case Questions

1. What purpose did the height and weight requirement serve? Do you think it was made to intentionally discriminate against women?

2. How could management have avoided this outcome?

3. In your view, should women’s access to male prisoners be limited as described here? Why or why not?

You can look this case up online; http://supreme.justia.com/us/433/321/case.html

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