Tuesday, August 11, 2009
After faculty members filed complaints with the EEOC and the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Belmont Abbey says the EEOC told the school in March 2009 that it would close the file on the discrimination charge, as it had not found the school's decision in violation of its statutes. But the agency later reversed itself, and issued a determination letter to the school on August 5 affirming that the ban amounted to gender discrimination, because it pertains only to women.
"By denying prescription contraception drugs, Respondent (the college) is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives," wrote Reuben Daniels Jr., the EEOC Charlotte District Office Director in the determination. "By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women."
Which implies that when the male contraceptive pills come on the market, the college's policy would become acceptable because it would apply equally to men and women.
But isn't it strange that it's illegal to deny one drug but denying two is fine?
I wonder if college health plans have to cover Viagra etc because denying it would be discriminatory. Research for another day perhaps.