Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) (29 U.S.C. § 2601)

The FMLA applies to all organizations with 50 or more employees; it gives professors and other university employees (including most postdoctoral scholars and some graduate students) the legal right to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year if the employee or his or her child, partner, or parent has a serious health condition, or if he or she has or adopts a child. Giving leave is mandatory. Covered employers are prohibited from denying or interfering with leave, including implying that leave will be seen as a lack of commitment to career.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 USC § 12101)g

Employees may not be discriminated against because they are caring for a family member whose illness or disability is covered by the ADA.


gAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990: Title I of the ADA, which became effective for employers with 25 or more employees on July 26, 1992, prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Title I applied to employers with 15 or more employees beginning on July 26, 1994. Title V contains miscellaneous provisions which apply to EEOC’s enforcement of Title I. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (Pub. L. 102-166) (CRA) amends sections 101(4), 102 and 509 of the ADA. In addition, section 102 of the CRA amends the Revised Statutes by adding a new section following section 1977 (42 U.S.C. 1981) to provide for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional violations of Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,

(9th Cir. 1987)), the plaintiffs—women faculty—lost but the Oregon State legislature subsequently passed a law against discrimination in the state’s institutions of higher education.

Are the outcomes of individual cases leading to lasting change in organizations? Affirmative action laws have made inroads for women, but they have not always resulted in better working conditions in industry or academe. Even in companies, many of which have private dispute processes, workers file 25,000 cases of sex discrimination a year with the EEOC. About one-fifth result in favorable outcomes for complainants. In a retrospective 10-year analysis of 2,000 firms that filed EEOC reports in 2000,68 Hirsh has shown that sex discrimination lawsuits often cause other firms in the same industry sector to make pre-emptive changes, apparently to


All firms with 50 or more employees are required to file EEOC reports annually.

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