The Sexes: Male and Female

When a worker falls ill or is injured, many large employers pay disability benefits without a murmur. The pregnant employee, however, generally gets no money for time taken as maternity leave. In a potentially far-reaching decision, Federal Judge Robert Merhige has found General Electric Co. guilty of sex discrimination in denying such benefits to pregnant workers. Ruling on a suit filed in 1972 by GE women, the judge dismissed the company's argument that pregnancy is incurred "voluntarily." Said he: "This standard is not applied in informal sports injuries, most of which could also be avoided by appropriate preparation and circumspect precaution."

The...

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