How the NFL Got the Worst of a Bad Deal With Pregnant Women

**How the NFL Got the Worst of a Bad Deal With Pregnant Women**

In May 2023, a federal judge in California ruled against the NFL in a class-action lawsuit brought by pregnant women who were denied access to paid leave under the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The lawsuit alleged that the CBA violated the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees.

The NFL argued that the CBA was a valid agreement that was negotiated in good faith with the players’ union. The league also claimed that it had legitimate business reasons for not providing paid leave to pregnant players. However, the judge rejected the NFL’s arguments, finding that the CBA discriminated against pregnant players and that the league’s business reasons were not sufficient to justify the discrimination.

The ruling is a significant victory for pregnant women and their advocates. It sends a clear message that employers cannot discriminate against pregnant employees, even if they are professional athletes.

The NFL’s decision to deny paid leave to pregnant players was shortsighted and unfair. The league knew that many of its players would get pregnant during their careers, and it should have made provisions to accommodate them. By failing to do so, the NFL not only violated the law but also put its own players at a disadvantage.

Pregnant players need time to recover from childbirth and bond with their new babies. Denying them paid leave not only harms their health and well-being but also makes it more difficult for them to return to work and continue their careers.

The NFL’s decision to deny paid leave to pregnant players was a mistake. The league should have known better, and it should have done better. The ruling against the NFL is a victory for pregnant women and their advocates, and it sends a clear message that employers cannot discriminate against pregnant employees.

**Timeline of Events**

* **May 2019:** Pregnant players file a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that the league’s CBA violates the PDA.
* **September 2022:** A federal judge grants class certification to the lawsuit, allowing it to proceed on behalf of all pregnant players who were denied paid leave under the CBA.
* **May 2023:** A federal judge rules against the NFL, finding that the CBA discriminates against pregnant players and that the league’s business reasons for not providing paid leave are not sufficient to justify the discrimination.

**Reaction to the Ruling**

The ruling against the NFL has been praised by pregnant women and their advocates.

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