X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Working moms just got a big break-albeit a belated one. This October, under the terms of a consent decree, Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to give service credits to thousands of current and former female employees who took pregnancy or maternity leaves-some dating as far back as the mid-1960s. (Service credits are used to determine when employees are eligible for their pension and how much they will get.) This is one of the largest settlements ever on the issue, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (its New York district office brought the suit). The EEOC estimates that employees could receive benefits worth more than $10 million. Up to 12,500 women in New York, 12 other states, and the District of Columbia who worked for the New York-based company will receive service credit. Approved by Southern District of New York judge Denny Chin, the consent decree resolves suits brought by the EEOC in 1997 and 1999 against Bell Atlantic and NYNEX (now Verizon). From 1965 to 1979, the company failed to give service credit to female employees on pregnancy or maternity leave-but men on disability or in military service were given full credit. “We hope this settlement sends a message to employers that women cannot be penalized for leaves of absence related to pregnancy and child care,” says EEOC New York regional attorney Katherine Bissell. Verizon, however, maintains that its policies complied with the law at the time, says company spokeswoman Sharon Cohen-Hagan. The company settled the case, she says, because it did not want to drag out the litigation. She adds that the company considers the amount of the settlement nonmaterial. In fact, the company did begin changing its policy in 1978. At that time Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, making it illegal to fire, demote, or refuse to hire women because they are pregnant. Under the law, expectant and new mothers in the workforce are also entitled to the same benefits given to temporarily disabled employees. Indeed, Verizon’s policies toward women with children have come a long way. This year, Working Mother magazine named subsidiary Verizon Wireless one of the 100 best companies for working mothers. New York Law Journal

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.