The agreement will settle sex discrimination charges, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by three female employees earlier this year . Under the terms of the agreement, Dow Jones will provide coverage to all of its employees and their covered dependents of all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and medical services in all of its health care plans.
Additionally, Dow Jones has agreed to reimburse current and former employees for their out-of-pocket expenses associated with uncovered prescription contraceptives since January 1, 2001.
Dow Jones has 10 separate medical insurance plans. Only one, which covers 40% of the company’s employees, did not offer prescription contraception coverage.
No admission of a law violation was made in the settlement.
According to the report, prescription contraceptive coverage has become a growing trend in recent years. The EEOC has made previous allegations that denial of prescription contraception coverage violates Title VII, requiring employers to provide “the same insurance c overage for prescription contraceptives that they do for other drugs, devices, or services that are used to prevent the occurrence of medical conditions other than pregnancy.”
Additionally, the National Women’s Law Center reports 19 states with laws requiring the coverage of prescription contraception in employer medical insurance plans.