In the late 1960s/early 1970s, Noreen Hulteen, Eleanora Collet, Linda Porter and Elizabeth Snyder took maternity leave from their jobs at AT&T. Under AT&T rules during this time, pregnancy was considered personal leave, and counted against employees for promotions, vacation, and pensions. Other types of long term sick leave, taken by men or women, were not counted against the employees. This type of discrimination, against only pregnant people, is currently illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Today, AT&T is counting the pregnancy leave against these women for purposes of their pensions. In 2008! Regardless of the fact that the treatment is illegal today, AT&T continues to fight this case, and has pushed for the Supreme Court to review its previous court losses.
AT&T is pursing a Supreme Court case to continue discriminating against pregnant women.
AT&T doesn’t have to continue pushing for review of this case – it has every right to drop the case, and, ethically, shouldn’t it? AT&T purports to be women’s friendly (http://www.att.com/gen/corporate-citizenship?pid=7752), but this clearly isn’t.
Here’s what you need to do: e-mail Nicole Pickens at email@example.com and Sue McCain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Apple has given AT&T exclusive cell phone rights to the i-Phone. Call Apple at 408.974.2042 or e-mail Susan Lundgren in Apple's PR department at email@example.com.
Write that you want AT&T to withdraw its Supreme Court Petition, or you’ll withdraw service. Ask why AT&T continues to discriminate against women, and why Apple supports this kind of corporate practice. If AT&T withdraws its petition to the Supreme Court, the lower court's ruling for women will stand. Women must send a message to AT&T, a wealthy company, that discrimination against women is not an acceptable corporate practice. Either AT&T withdraws its petition from the Supreme Court, or we'll withdraw our business from AT&T.
You can also call AT&T Customer Service to ask if AT&T has withdrawn its position. If the customer service representative doesn't know what you're talking about, say that AT&T discriminates against women, and you want to cancel your contract. If they won't let you out of it, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will handle it. I am working with a large coalition on this. You are welcome to join us!
If you are a blogger or part of the media, call 210-821-4105, press 3, for other, and ask for corporate media or you can e-mail folks directly. Interestingly, there are no press releases about this case...funny, that.
[Ed. note: Washington Post covered the story here]