Former students: Neil Gorsuch has really messed up views of pregnant women in the workforce
On the eve of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s SCOTUS confirmation hearing, Jennifer Sisk, a former University of Colorado Law School student, accused her then-professor of holding discriminatory views regarding women in the workplace. During a Legal Ethics and Professionalism class held during the spring semester in 2016, Gorsuch argued that employers should ask women about their plans to become pregnant during the interview, Sisk said, in order to avoid these shifty ladies from taking advantage of the company’s maternity leave benefits and then blowing off the job to raise a kid.
Those pregnant broads — always trying to pull one over on honest, hardworking corporations.
Sisk sent a letter detailing the incident to the the Senate Committee on the Judiciary which was made public by the National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Women’s Law Center on Sunday.
The incident Sisk described involved Gorsuch asking the students to raise their hands if they knew of women who willfully got jobs in order to take advantage of the maternity benefits only to deliberately quit to raise a family shortly after. “C’mon guys,” Gorsuch allegedly said after only a few students raised their hands. Sisk wrote that Gorsuch told the class that “all our hands should be raised because ‘many’ women use their companies for maternity benefits and then leave the company after the baby is born.”
Sisk wrote that Gorsuch implied that women were often playing a long con where they “intentionally manipulate companies and plan to disadvantage their companies, starting from the first interview.”
Sisk first publicly raised concerns regarding Gorsuch in a Facebook post from January:
Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch was my ethics professor last year. He is someone who has a sharp judicial mind and believes in facts and legal reasoning.
However, in our class he was very comfortable discussing the fact that women use their companies and unfairly treat their employers by having children, therefore employers need heightened protections against women and need lax employment law before hiring women.
He was firm in expressing his belief that only professions that made a hefty salary were worth pursuing and that anything related to non-profit or public service would make you sad and a disappointment. He does not support FMLA, women as equal citizens, and values corporations above people.
He’s still better than the rest of the choices.
The National Women’s Law Center posted a letter from a former student who wished to remain anonymous. It read:
One of the topics he discussed was strongly gendered. Judge Gorsuch told our class that female lawyers get divorced at twice the rate of male lawyers. He also said that many female lawyers became pregnant, and questioned whether they should do so on their law firms’ dime. He asked the female students in my class what they would do if they became pregnant and about the impact of their pregnancies on their law firms. He also asked how they would take care of their children after those children are born.
It’s not technically illegal for employers to ask if women plan to become pregnant, but it is illegal for that to be used as the basis to deny someone employment.
From NY Daily News:
However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission noted in 2007 that by asking the question, the interview can be used as evidence that an employer “unlawfully used sex or pregnancy as a factor in the selection decision.”
The U.S. does not guarantee maternity leave for female workers but after the November election, Trump pledged he would pass six weeks of paid-maternity leave for new mothers. His daughter, Ivanka, championed women’s right during her Republican National Convention speech in July.
Trump spokesman Ron Bonjean said that Gorsuch received generally positive reviews from his students at University of Colorado.