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US Supreme Court Decision AT&T. versus Hulteen - Research Paper Example

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The instant case is a US Supreme Court case in which the primary issue was to determine whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is violated by an employer, when pensions are calculated on the basis of accrual rule, giving less retirement credit for pregnancy than for medical leave…
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US Supreme Court Decision AT&T. versus Hulteen
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Download file to see previous pages Hulteen 1). The matter in controversy is clear, if the employer does not give an employee full pension benefit by excluding the time of pregnancy leave on the ground that when the employee took pregnancy leave, the PDA Act was not operative, Can the employee file a suit for discrimination? Can the employee enforce credited leave time for such absence? Can the employee get relief under U.S. law and enforce greater pension benefit? What is the present law with regard to this matter? To find answers to the above questions, a research and in depth analysis of the case in hand would surely prove to be of great help, as discussed in the latter context of the paper. 2. The Dispute Before proceeding further into the case, knowledge of the facts of the case is essential. The petitioner of this case was the American Telegraph & Telephone Company, whereas the respondents consisted of individual respondents in the form of Noreen Hulteen, Eleanora Collet, Elizabeth Snyder, Linda Porter, and the collective-bargaining representative of the employees, the CWA or the Communications Workers of America (AT & T Corp v. Hulteen 3). AT & T provided pensions and other benefits to its employees on the basis of seniority system, relying upon the term of employment, which was equivalent to service at the company minus uncredited leave time. For a period extending from 1960 to mid-1970s the employees on disability leave got full service leave but those who took personal leave, which also included leaves for pregnancy, received a maximum service credit of 30 days. The respondents of this case received less service credit for pregnancy leave than they should have received, if they had taken a leave for disability. Respondent Noreen Hulteen received seven months less credit, Eleanora Collet received six months less credit, while Elizabeth Snyder and Linda Porter received two months less payment. If the total term of employment was not so decreased, they would receive greater pension benefit (AT & T Corp v. Hulteen 2-3). The individual respondents of this case and the CWA filed charges of discrimination against AT & T with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After receipt of complaint EEOC issued a Letter of determination finding that AT & T had discriminated against Hulteen and similar class. The EEOC issued a notice of right to sue to the respondent and the CWA, after which Hulteen filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Certiorari was granted by the Supreme Court on this issue to resolve a split between the decision of the Ninth Circuit on the one hand and on the other hand the Sixth and Seventh Circuits on the same issue (AT & T Corp v. Hulteen 3-4). Hulteen had to take the issue to the Court without negotiating a settlement due to the fact that she had to satisfy herself with considerably low pension than she would have received, if she would not have taken the pregnancy leave. The policy of AT & T Corp. will never have allowed her to enjoy the full pension benefits and she had to file a suit. The EEOC had to resort to a case, as it had to keep in mind the interest of the other workers. Finally, AT & T had to move to the Supreme Court, as it was not satisfied with the decision of the Ninth circuit. 3. The Procedure The suit never reached the District Court at the first instance. The individual respondents of this case and the CWA filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC, stating that discrimination has taken place on the basis of sex and pregnancy in violation of Title VII. The suit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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