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Los Angeles Department of Water & Power v. Manhart

United States Supreme Court
435 U.S. 702, 98 S.Ct. 1370 (1978)

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power v. Manhart


The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (Department) (defendant) administered employee benefits programs, including pensions, funded entirely by contributions from each employee and the Department. Department calculations indicated that female employees tended to outlive male employees by several years, thus requiring the Department to pay out, on the whole, greater pension benefits to female retirees than to male retirees. To account for this difference, the Department required female employees to make monthly contributions to their individual funds that were nearly 15 percent higher than the contributions required of similarly situated male employees. As a result, because contributions were withheld from each employee’s paychecks, female employees were taking home less money per month than same-salaried male employees.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

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