In vitro fertilization and artificial insemination may not be terms regularly discussed in the workplace now, but the outcome of a federal case pending in White Plains — and the expected filing of similar suits — could ultimately change that.

The critical issue in the Southern District of New York case, Saks v. Franklin Covey Co., No. 99 Civ. 9588, is the liability an employer faces under the Americans with Disabilities Act when the health insurance plan it offers employees limits or excludes coverage for infertility treatments. The case may be one of the first to apply a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Bragdon v. Abbott, 188 S. Ct. 2196, to an infertile employee. Bragdon held that the ability to conceive is a major life activity under the ADA, ending a debate in federal courts on this issue.

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