Dow Jones Journalists Bring Discrimination Suit

May 9, 2002 ( - Three female editorial employees at Dow Jones have filed a discrimination suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an effort to get the company to provide the same insurance coverage for contraception used by women as is offered for other prescriptions and medical services, according to Planned Parenthood.

The suit alleges the firm’s current practice violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. 

The charges were filed with the EEOC on behalf of three journalists employed by Dow Jones: a reporter with the Wall Street Journal and two from SmartMoney magazine. The employees decided to take legal action nearly a year after the union first asked the company to add the coverage, according to Planned Parenthood.

“Contraception is not an optional prescription for me, and I suspect that is true for most women,” stated Lauren Young, a reporter with SmartMoney. “I rely on my employee benefits for medical coverage, and these benefits are part of my compensation, yet they do not cover any form of prescription contraception. I don’t think that is fair.”

Alternative Means?

Women of reproductive age currently spend far more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, largely due to reproductive health expenses not covered by insurance. Planned Parenthood notes that in the absence of coverage for prescription contraceptives, many women may opt for less effective methods, increasing the risk of an unintended pregnancy and harm to their health.

“We have seen the complaint, and we are looking into it,” said Steven Goldstein, a Dow Jones spokesman told Dow Jones. “Contraceptive care is provided for under some of the medical plans available to Dow Jones employees,” he said, adding that employees may choose which plan best meets their needs.