Tayeb Hyderally chose to go into employment law because he found the field interesting and constantly changing. Mr. Hyderally began practicing employment law in New Jersey and soon became a well respected expert in the area. He successfully litigates on behalf of his clients to protect them from maltreatment or discrimination in the workplace. Mr. Hyderally also speaks at various corporate organizations to educate them on the newest information regarding employment law. Cases such as AT&T v Hulteen can have a huge impact on the way employment law is interpreted.
Hulteen v AT&T
In 1968 Noreen Hulteen took maternity leave but because of complications she was hospitalized and missed a total of 240 days of work. AT&T gave her only 30 days of paid leave. At the time employees who took any form of disability leave were paid for the duration of the leave, for as long as they were disabled. Prior to the Act of 1978, it was common practice for businesses to not extend sickness benefits to those who were pregnant. For Ms. Hulteen this meant that while she was disabled due to the complications of pregnancy she received no pension benefits.
When Ms. Hulteen retired from AT&T in 1994, she realized the effect the missing 210 had on her pension plan. She took legal action against corporate giant AT&T stating that the leave of absence should have been retroactive and the company should have paid into her pension plan for the days she missed due to the disability that occurred during the pregnancy.
AT&T of course argued that the 1978 law was not retroactive. Congress had not made the law retroactive and they were basing the calculations for her pension upon the business practices at the time of the disability.
The Supreme Court ruled that any maternity leave taken before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 cannot be considered when calculating pension benefits of an employee. Even though it would be in violation of Title VII today, the PDA does not cover discrimination in the past.
Previous cases that have been settled by a ruling by the Supreme Court set the precedent for cases that are heard today. Ty Hyderally has been successfully litigating employment law in New Jersey for many years and is considered an expert in his field. Cases like Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur help to determine many of the rulings that are handed down in courtrooms today.
Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur established that regulations regarding maternity leave were too restrictive and that these rules for public school employees violated the Due Process Clause of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. This ruling which drastically altered mandatory maternity leave guidelines was a great win on behalf of women in the workplace.
Teaching was one of the first careers in which American women dominated. Previous to this most women were housewives. The bias that believed a women’s primary role was that of a housewife dominated political offices, male administrators and was very much so of the school systems across the country. Because of this bias, married women were discouraged from entering the workforce period, but specifically from taking teaching positions. And many times being a married woman was an immediate disqualification for a teaching job. It was the general consensus that men and single women were in more need of a job than a married woman. After WWII caused so many labor shortages married women became more eligible for teaching positions. However, the prejudice against married women continued.
Prejudice began to focus more on pregnant women and in 1948 a survey conducted by the NEA showed that nearly half of the schools had no policy regarding maternity leave, and the remaining schools had a compulsory maternity leave. This mandatory leave forced teachers to take from 4 to 6 months leave before childbirth and a long period of time after the birth. These were unpaid leaves that were forced upon women teachers who were pregnant. Basically, if a woman was visibly pregnant, she would not be allowed to work, thus implying that she was not capable of meeting the demands of the job. The court ruled this as faulty reasoning.
The Supreme Court ruling was that this sort of compulsive maternity leave is unconstitutional. The Court stated it was too arbitrary, meaning that there was no reasonable explanation of the fixed dates. It also stated that there was no way to decide individual medical conditions for a whole group of people. The right of an individual to choose when to take maternity leave without such restrictive regulations was upheld.