In 1978, a new California law gave pregnant working women unpaid maternity leave of up to 4 months and a promise that they could return to their old jobs or similar ones when their leave ended. Some individuals deemed this as preferential treatment, since other workers did not get the same disability benefits. On this date in 1987, the Supreme Court upheld that law, stating that such laws did not conflict with a federal civil rights statute that says pregnant employees must be treated the same as others temporarily unable to work. The National Organization for Women and the League of Women Voters disagreed with the ruling, saying that special protections for pregnant women would discourage employers from hiring women of childbearing age. Betty Friedan, a leading feminist, and the Planned Parenthood Federation supported the ruling, arguing that only a woman must choose between exercising a fundamental right to procreate and keeping her job.
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