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New York University Law Review

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In Wimberly v. Labor & Industrial Relations Commission, the Supreme Court interpreted section 3304(a)(12) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), which requires that states not dent unemployment benefits "solely on the basis of pregnancy," as an antidiscrimination statue, rather that one requiring preferential treatment for pregnant and formerly pregnant women. Professor Mary Radford argues that given the ambiguous legislative history and other Supreme Court precedent in the area of unemployment compensation, Wimberly could just as easily have held that FUTA's language requires preferential treatment to pregnant and formerly pregnant women. She further argues that given the current realities that women with children are a major component of the workforce and that women generally have no guarantee of job reinstatement when they try to return to work, women should not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, nor should they be presumed ineligible for benefits merely because they were or currently are pregnant. Disqualifying pregnant or formerly pregnant women from receiving unemployment benefits, or presuming them ineligible for such benefits, forces them to make the difficult decision between having income and having children. Professor Radford concludes that pregnant and formerly pregnant women should be granted special treatment in the context of unemployment benefits


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Recommended Citation

Mary F. Radford, Wimberly and Beyond: Analyzing the Refusal to Award Unemployment Compensation to Women Who Terminate Prior Employment Due to Pregnancy, 63 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 532 (1988).





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