Employer Fetal Protection Policies at Work: Balancing Reproductive Hazards with Title VII Rights

84 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2009

See all articles by Christine Neylon O'Brien

Christine Neylon O'Brien

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Margo E. K. Reder

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Gerald A. Madek

Bentley University - Department of Law

Gerald R. Ferrara

Bentley University - Department of Law

Date Written: October 26, 1991

Abstract

Perhaps one of the most compelling divisive workplace issues of the decade surrounds the use of increasingly complex chemicals in work environments which raises legal, economic, medical and moral concerns, especially as employers adopt employment policies meant to avoid the specter of massive tort liability for workplace exposure injuries to workers or third parties. In the case, /International Union v. Johnson Controls, the Supreme Court struck down an employer's policy prohibiting fertile women from work involving exposure to the well-known teratogen, lead, where the employer could not produce a defense to this facially discriminatory policy. The authors analyze the Court's opinion and concurrences, and note the important tensions still needed resolution after the case: namely the public policy mandate to protect all populations from workplace toxins; to eradicate toxins from the workplace; and to promote worker and safety health of both men and women.

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Christine Neylon and Reder, Margo E. K. and Madek, Gerald A. and Ferrara, Gerald R., Employer Fetal Protection Policies at Work: Balancing Reproductive Hazards with Title VII Rights (October 26, 1991). Marquette Law Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, pp. 147-229, Winter 1991 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494573

Christine Neylon O'Brien (Contact Author)

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Business Law Department
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
(617) 552-0413 (Phone)
(617) 552-0414 (Fax)

Margo E. K. Reder

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617.552.0410 (Phone)

Gerald A. Madek

Bentley University - Department of Law ( email )

United States

Gerald R. Ferrara

Bentley University - Department of Law ( email )

United States

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