Gorsuch Said Women “Manipulate” Maternity Benefits

By on March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, told students in a course at the University of Colorado Law School last year that employers, specifically law firms, should ask women during the interview stage about their plans for having children, according to a letter written by former student Jennifer Sisk. Sisk, a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, said in the letter that Gorsuch implied that women manipulate companies to extract maternity benefits. The National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Women’s Law center posted Sisk’s letter over the weekend, ahead of Gorsuch’s nomination hearings this week. The letter was sent on Friday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Edit (March 24, 2017): Asked about the letter at his confirmation hearing March 22, Gorsuch vehemently denied the claims made in the letter. Gorsuch said he had asked in class for a show of hands to see if law firm applicants generally were being asked at job interviews about their plans to have a family. “I knew this stuff happened when my mom was a young practicing lawyer, graduating law school in the 1960s,” Gorsuch told Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) “I am shocked it still happens every year that I get women, not men, raising their hand to that question.”

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  1. G. Lipk

    March 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

    As anyone who has worked in Human Resources or benefits knows, what Gorsuch said is essentially true. When possible, women do indeed manipulate and carefully plan where they will workwhen they contemplate pregnancy. Many do switch jobs to secure better or richer maternity benefits when a pregnancy is contemplated. The beneit often sought is paid time off. The medical side coverage is fairly standard – it is the paid time off feature that varies widely. I am not sure that any of this is a shock or a surprise.

  2. Robert Small

    March 21, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I find the headline to this article unabashedly biased. It does not say that the Judge is accused of making the alleged statement but that he, in fact, made it when the article goes on to report that the allegation is disputed. I also note that the article does not state that any attempt was made to seek the Judge’s comment. This is exactly why NPR should lose federal funding. The article’s author and editor should be ashamed of themselves

    • Craig Marvinney

      March 23, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Even the short article teaser here by “Today’s General Counsel” has a misleading headline. This short version even states that he “implies”, not that he “said”. This site ought to get with the program — truth — before it loses all credibility and is consigned to spam.

  3. Fred Stein

    March 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Your headline is misleading and, I will assume, purposefully so (just for the “clicks” to grab ad revenue?). It’s no excuse that you published the article on March 20. I received this headline in an email from you on March 22, the day after an 11 hour hearing during which this topic was explored. If you are going to disseminate another source’s old news on March 22, you have a duty to ensure it’s not stale. The NPR article to which you link doesn’t even use this title. The article is entitled “Amid Charges By Former Law Student On Gender Equality, Former Clerks Defend Gorsuch.” Judge Gorsuch’s nomination is an important matter in its own right, and your reporting trivializes and sensationalizes it. In the future, I’ll make sure to skip your headlines and directly go to the source, whether it’s Nina Totenberg or someone else.

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