High Court to Look at Retroactive Application of Pregnancy Discrimination Act

June 23, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to determine whether employees who received less credited service time while on pregnancy leave prior to the effective date of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can regain that lost time retroactively for purpose of determining pensions, Business Insurance reports.

The case before the high court involves four current and former female employees of AT&T Corporation who had all taken a maternity leave sometime between 1968 and 1976.  The PDA was effective in 1979.

Prior to PDA, AT&T only credited up to 30 days of service for women on maternity leave and other disability leave that occurred while on maternity leave, while others who took disability leave were credited for service for the full amount of time they were on leave. 

A lower court ruled for the women, but on appeal, the 9th Circuit noted, “It is widely understood that there is nothing in the PDA that suggests a congressional intent to make the statute retroactive.” The appellate court also said the claim was time-barred since the women did not make the claim at the time the service was not credited or the effective date of the PDA (See Pregnancy Discrimination Act not to be Applied for Service Retroactively ).