NBC Evening News for Monday, Apr 10, 1978
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(Studio) Report is 1st of 2 on protective discrimination.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Protective discrimination policies of Bunker Hill Company of Kellogg, ID, described. [Company spokesperson Gene BAKER - states company policy against employment of women of reproductive age in areas where they might be exposed to lead. Notes this is due to medical evidence of possible health damage.] Company abolition of some jobs deemed by company to be unsafe for women and any children they might bear noted; views of women and legal and scientific experts that this is discriminatory stated. Andrea Hricko, of University of California and national advisory committee of Occupational Safety and Health, is noted as expert on effects of lead on reproduction. [HRICKO - says only solution is to clean up work area so as not to present danger to either men or women.] [Eva SULLIVAN - thinks 1st mistake was not to get attorney] Bunker Hill's firing of 9 women for refusal to take pregnancy tests cited. [SULLIVAN - says company gave them no choice. Feels woman should be one to make decision with regard to tests, not company] Is reported that Sullivan had hysterectomy in order to get job back. [SULLIVAN - notes she's 30 years old.] Judy Etherton's case described. [ETHERTON - thinks if company concerned about everyone's health, there would be complete studies on health of both men and women.] Ind. film shown. Company refusal to discuss cases or to allow filming in lead smelter reported Details of company stand on issue given. [BAKER - doesn't believe evidence supports idea that lead affects male as it does female.] [HRICKO - says toxic substances don't discriminate and that there's evidence that reproductive functions in men and women can be affected by lead. Cites usual company responses to this and says it's method of sex discrimination.] Occupational Safety and Health Act quoted. [Assistant Labor Secretary Eula BINGHAM - regards such actions against women as discriminatory because if safety levels prescribed by department are followed, places in question will be safe for both sexes.] Companies excluding women of child-bearing age from work in areas companies consider hazardous listed.
REPORTER: Edwin Newman
(Studio) Statements of companies listed in above report, with regard to practice of protective discrimination, given. Upcoming report outlined.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
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