Jane Doe, a graphic artist for a used-car insurer, learned she was pregnant in May 2000. She told her supervisor Fred Kohl and discussed making up time missed from work due to doctor's appointments. In August, Doe's doctor detected severe deformities in the fetus and recommended an abortion.
Doe's husband contends he contacted Kohl to arrange for a day off for the abortion procedure and subsequently for the following week off, during which the couple held a funeral for their child. Nonetheless, on the day of the funeral, Kohl fired Doe for job abandonment, saying she failed to comply with the company's attendance rules.
"They looked at the legislative history and the EEOC guidance and came to the conclusion that abortion is part and parcel of what the law was designed to protect," says Michael Moore, of counsel at McNees Wallace & Nurick.
Once the court had concluded that abortion is covered under the PDA, it focused on establishing a nexus between the adverse employment action and the protected class.