Posted on March 20, 2017 Issues: Supreme Court

(Washington, D.C.) A former law student of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch has submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee alleging that he made a series of comments asserting that women manipulate employers by accepting jobs without disclosing their plans to become pregnant, going on maternity leave when they do, and not returning to work afterwards. The letter alleges that Judge Gorsuch stated that companies can and must ask women about their plans in regard to pregnancy and family in order to protect corporate interests.

The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, NWLC Senior Vice President for Program and President-elect:

“The statements Judge Gorsuch allegedly made show a disqualifying disregard for women’s rights to equal treatment at work. He reportedly said that companies can and must ask women—and only women—about whether and when they plan to start a family in order to protect corporate interests. Such statements fly in the face of longstanding precedents seeking to ensure that employers judge women on their performance, rather than on their family roles. As Chief Justice Rehnquist recognized almost 15 years ago, the stereotype that women are mothers first and workers second has long been a primary obstacle women face in the workplace. Gorsuch’s reported statements perpetuate this stereotype and demand close scrutiny in his hearing this week.”

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For immediate release:  March 20, 2017
Contact:  Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org)

The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.