A FACTOR BY ANY OTHER NAME: THE RELIGIOUS EMPLOYER‘S DEFENSE TO CONTRACEPTIVE EQUITY CLAIMS UNDER THE EQUAL PAY ACT AND TITLE VII

Author: 

Cheryl A. Beckett

Health care reform, including the role of employers in providing health insurance, is one of this country‘s most controversial and critical issues. The cost, coverage, administration, and provision of care are at the core of the public and political debates. Since this country does not offer universal health care through a single-payer or a socialized- medicine system, the heavy burden of providing such coverage falls almost exclusively on the shoulders of employers. They are caught in the middle of this national debate. By offering health insurance, an employer is better able to compete in the marketplace for the qualified workers who will remain loyal employees. It is therefore within the best interests of both the employer and its employees for an employer to offer the most comprehensive health care benefit package possible. However, offering comprehensive prescription coverage in employee benefit plans, without including contraceptives, necessarily results in a disparity of benefits because of sex. Employers who choose to exclude such coverage now face litigation under both discrimination laws and health care legislation mandating that such plans include FDA-approved contraceptives. View More