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Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur

United States Supreme Court
414 U.S. 632 (1974)


Facts

The maternity-leave and return policies of the Board of Education of Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland BOE) (defendant) require a pregnant teacher to (1) give advance notice of her pregnancy, (2) take mandatory unpaid leave starting five months before her due date, (3) refrain from being eligible to return to work until the baby is three months old, and (4) provide medical certification that she is physically fit to return to work after such three-month period. The maternity-leave and return policies of the School Board of Chesterfield County, Virginia (Chesterfield County BOE) (defendant) requires a pregnant teacher to (1) give advance notice of her pregnancy, (2) take mandatory unpaid leave starting four months before her due date, and (3) provide medical certification that she is physically fit to return to work after delivering. Both school boards limit the ability of teachers to return to work in the middle of a school term. Jo Carol LaFleur (plaintiff) and Ann Elizabeth Nelson (plaintiff) sued the Cleveland BOE for violating their constitutional rights. Susan Cohen (plaintiff) sued the Chesterfield County BOE. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a split among the United States Courts of Appeal.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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