A. L. Cherry


In United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court was faced with the task of deciding whether women's childbearing capacity could be used to limit women's job choices and opportunities within certain industrial/ manufacturing fields. The Court decided that the ability to bear children could be used to so limit women, but only if the employer met a high standard. In Johnson Controls, employees who worked in a toxic work environment sought a determination that their employer's fetal protection policy discriminated on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The Court so held and ruled that the gender-based policy violated the amended Title VII and indicated that employers must establish a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification for such gender-based policies to survive constitutional muster in the future.

This Casenote will explore the history leading up to the decision and the effects of this decision on employment practice jurisprudence in the future.