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Justices Hear Bias Case On Maternity, Pensions And Timing

Publication Date: 
December 10, 2008
The New York Times
Adam Liptak

Lecturer in Law Kevin Russell who works with the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic is quoted in The New York Times in an article about a case AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen (07-543) he argued in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday discussing employment discrimination:

The argument of an employment discrimination case at the Supreme Court on Wednesday was full of references to one of the court’s more controversial decisions in recent years — the 2007 ruling against Lilly M. Ledbetter.

Ms. Ledbetter lost her case because she had discovered the disparity between her pay and that of her male colleagues too late.


The case that was argued Wednesday, AT&T v. Hulteen, No. 07-543, raised broadly similar issues. Noreen Hulteen and three other women took pregnancy leaves from AT&T from 1968 to 1976. When the company calculated their pension benefits on their retirements decades later, it did not give them full credit for the leaves.


Kevin Russell, representing the plaintiffs, said his clients “weren’t required to challenge this discrimination” when it happened “because it wasn’t a completed, unlawful employment practice at the time.”

“At the time that these leaves are taken typically,” he added, “the person is years away, perhaps decades away, from even vesting in their benefits pension.”