A bit of background: in 2007, 79 women joined a class-action law suit against Bloomberg L.P., the financial services and media company founded by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The suit, originally filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, argued that that the company engaged in a pattern of discrimination, including demotions and pay cuts, against pregnant women who took maternity leave. The lawsuit also alleged that pregnant women and new mothers were excluded from management meetings and subjected to stereotyping about their abilities to do their jobs because of their family and caregiver responsibilities.
The Belmont Abbey College administration is refusing to provide contraceptives to female employees. Although health care needs are covered through the campus health insurance, women are being denied access to preventative reproductive care. Of course I am not all that surprised considering the religious affiliation of this school. Apparently the Catholic belief of this particularly college campus is that women should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has deemed these actions as a violation of discrimination laws because the school’s employee health insurance plan lacks coverage for contraception. An official letter was sent to the school, and recieved the following response from Mr. Thierfelder on the school web site.
“Belmont Abbey College rejects the notion that by following the moral teachings of the Catholic Church we are discriminating against anyone. We are simply and honestly exercising the freedom of religion that is protected by the Constitution.” [Read more...]