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Employment – FMLA — self-care

U.S. Supreme Court


Employment – FMLA — self-care

States are immune from suits brought under the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Petitioner maintains that the self-care provision addresses sex discrimination and sex stereotyping. But the provision, standing alone, is not a valid abrogation of the States’ immunity from suit. At the time the FMLA was enacted, there was no evidence of such discrimination or stereotyping in sick-leave policies. Congress was concerned about the economic burdens imposed by illness-related job loss on employees and their families and about discrimination based on illness, not sex. Although the self-care provision offers some women a benefit by allowing them to take leave for pregnancy-related illnesses, the provision, as a remedy, is not congruent and proportional to any identified constitutional violations. When the FMLA was enacted, Congress had no evidence that States were excluding pregnancy-related illnesses from their leave policies.

626 F.3d 187, affirmed.

10-1016 Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland.

Kennedy, J.; Thomas, J., concurring; Scalia, J., concurring; Ginsburg, J., dissenting.

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