The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed a complaint on June 4 against a large array of both public and private institutions, alleging the employers did not adequately cover healthcare benefits for employee’s dependents. The NWLC complaint is believed to be the first complaint filed under a provision of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The NWLC filed the complaint against Battelle Memorial Institute, Beacon Health System, Auburn University, Gonzaga University and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, according to Salon. The allegations state that these institutions discriminated against women who were pregnant by failing to provide them with the same comprehensive health coverage they provided to male employees.
“When an institution excludes maternity coverage for the female dependent children of its employees, it means that young women on their parents’ plans receive benefits that are less comprehensive than those provided to young adult men,” said NWLC Vice President Judy Waxman. “Providing a less favorable set of benefits to employees’ daughters compared to their sons is not only unfair, it is also discrimination on the basis of sex—a violation of Section 1557 of the ACA.”
Salon did not list the specific allegations against each company or institution, so it is unclear exactly what these employers were denying to female dependents of employees.
“Pregnancy coverage is an essential insurance benefit for women,” said Maria Greenberger of the NWLC. “Our message to every institution providing health insurance in the country is that treating pregnancy differently, including by omitting it from health insurance coverage, is sex discrimination pure and simple and as such violates the law.”
There is more information on gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and FMLA laws available on our site. If your rights have been violated, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact our firm today for a free consultation.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles discrimination attorneys