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UNITED STATES v. BOARD OF EDUC. OF THE CONSOL. HIG

June 27, 1990

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CONSOLIDATED HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 230, Palos Hills, Illinois; and ILLINOIS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, CONSOLIDATED HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 230 TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION, Defendants


Harry D. Leinenweber, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEINENWEBER

HARRY D. LEINENWEBER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 The defendant, Board of Education of the Consolidated High School District 230 ("District 230"), has for a number of years entered into collective bargaining agreements ("CBA") with the defendant, Illinois Education Association, Consolidated High School District 230 Teachers' Association ("Association"). Among the subjects covered by the CBAs was maternity leave, sick leave, child care leave and several other forms of leave. As with the other provisions of the CBA the various leave policies resulted from labor negotiations between District 230 and the Association. The two CBAs in question, for the years 1982-84 and for the years 1984-87, provided that sick leave, which was paid, could not be taken "in conjunction with" maternity leave, which was unpaid. None of the other leaves provided by the CBA were subject to a similar provision. Also the provisions of the CBA establishing a sick leave bank specifically excluded maternity benefits.

 As a result of what it perceived to be discrimination against pregnant teachers, the United States brought this Title VII disparate treatment action alleging violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e(k) ("PPD").

 THE MATERNITY LEAVE PROBLEM

 District 230 argues that it does not discriminate against pregnant teachers because they are presented with the option of taking paid sick leave (to be followed by unpaid sick leave if their sick leave runs out) as an alternative to unpaid maternity leave, to be followed by parental leave. Thus pregnant teachers are treated exactly the same as any other teacher with the exception that they also have offered to them unpaid maternity leave which they can take as a matter of right for up to two and one-half years. It contends therefore that the choice between the paid sick leave and unpaid maternity leave under these circumstances is not violative of the PPD.

 The United States however contends that all other forms of leave offered, other than maternity leave, allow a teacher to take sick leave in combination with that leave and that District 230 does not allow natural mothers to take parental leave. *fn1" Therefore District 230 does illegally discriminate.

 The leave policy of District 230 is set out in Article VI of the CBAs. *fn2" Para. 6.01 provides for sick leave. A teacher is allowed 12 sick leave days per year and they are allowed to accumulate on an unlimited basis. Para. 6.0158 provides as follows:

 
A teacher not requesting maternity leave may utilize accumulative sick leave under the following conditions:
 
(1) A pregnant teacher shall notify her principal in writing when her pregnancy is confirmed in order to be eligible to utilize accumulated sick leave.
 
(2) Such accumulated sick leave shall be allowed during the time period that the teacher's physician determines, in writing, that she is unable to perform her teaching duties as a result of the pregnancy or delivery of the child. The teacher shall submit periodic statements from her physician attesting to the condition of her health. If a teacher shall have exhausted her accumulated sick leave prior to her ability to return to work, she will be granted an unpaid leave of absence for such period.
 
(3) Failure of the teacher to return after her physician determines she is medically able to perform her teaching duties shall be considered as having waived all rights to continued employment in the District.

 Para. 6.04 "MATERNITY LEAVE" provides as follows:

 
6.041 A pregnant teacher shall notify her principal in writing when her pregnancy is confirmed in order to be eligible to ...

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