Strategies for Implementing Workplace Reproductive and Health Programs
31 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 26, 1993
This article follows up on the Supreme Court's /United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc/. decision striking down an employer's policy prohibiting fertile women from jobs involving workplace exposure to the well-known teratogen, lead, where the employer could not produce a defense to this facially discriminatory policy. The Court roundly criticized the employer's policy which did not 'seek to protect the unconceived children of all its employees.' After this decision, employers could no longer rely on fetal protection policies as a way to out from under liability for exposure to workplace carcinogens. The authors explore the meaning of this decision and reflect on wider policy and social issues, including: the need for safety and health legislation, as well as jobs where workers are not forced to choose between their economic and their reproductive health. The authors offer a number of recommendations for legislative, agency and business initiatives to accomplish these important goals.
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