1970 December 17

Forced Maternity Leave for Pregnant Teacher


On this day, Jo Carol LaFleur told the principal of a Cleveland, Ohio, junior high school, where she was teaching, that she was pregnant. According to school policy, teachers were banned from the classroom after the fourth month of pregnancy — and could not return until the semester after the child was three months old. The Supreme Court ruled, in Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur in January 1974, that the school’s policy was overly restrictive and violated the due process rights of teachers.

The Court in LaFleur: “Thus, we conclude that the Cleveland return rule, insofar as it embodies the three-month age provision, is wholly arbitrary and irrational, and hence violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The age limitation serves no legitimate state interest and unnecessarily penalizes the female teacher for asserting her right to bear children.”

Learn more about the law of pregnancy discriminationhttp://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm

And morehttps://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/pregnancy-discrimination

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