Birth Control Settlement Gets Green Light

March 7, 2003 ( - A federal judge has approved the terms of Bartell Drug Company's compensation for female employees denied coverage of prescription contraceptives.

The class-action settlement, approved by US District Judge Robert Lasnik, provides current Bartell female employees with no insurance co-payment on prescription contraceptives through 2006. Those who are no longer employed with the Seattle-based drug store chain may submit a claim form to be reimbursed $100 for any prescription contraceptives purchased since 1997, according to a report by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The dispute began in July 2000 when a female former Bartell pharmacist filed a lawsuit claiming the company’s failure to cover prescription contraceptives in its employee health plan constituted sexual discrimination.   On June 13, 2001, Lasnik agreed with the charges and ordered Bartell to pay for prescription contraceptives for its female employees.