NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 12, 1978
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(Studio) Spec. report is 2nd part of examination of protective discrimination.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Recent women's meeting in Philadelphia on subject of protective discrimination noted; term defined. EEOC investigation of this possible sex discrimination, in wake of job openings for women under Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act and after matter had been brought to EEOC attention by NBC News, noted. [EEOC spokesperson Eleanor Holmes NORTON - says it's clear that companies are rushing to exclude women from certain jobs, based on little scientific evidence, instead of considering alternatives.] Protective discrimination case of Firestone employee Robin Schorn cited as example [Mrs. SCHORN - should have had right to make own decision; notes men at chemical plant have that right, despite signs warning of cancer- suspect agent's presence.] GM's recent removal of fertile women in lead storage battery plants noted. [GM, Canada, spokesperson John CHMARA - states company policy.] Case of General Motors Corporation employee Norma James, who fought recent move by company and eventually had self sterilized to keep job, cited. [Mrs. JAMES - feels company is making it tough for her, but won't give up.] Company's transferral of Mrs. James after initial interview described. Scientists' reports that men and their offspring can be affected by hazardous substance at same levels as women. [EPA spokesperson Dr. Vilma HUNT - says men aren't immune and that their future offspring aren't only affected by mother, but also by father and his work conditions.] Assistant Labor Secretary Eula Bingham's contention that if federal safety rules followed, men, women and fetuses will be safe, stated. [BINGHAM - calls it discrimination to refuse women a job and say it's safe for men, with perhaps no evidence to support policy.] Unawareness of extent of protective discrimination practice by EEOC and OSHA till NBC News brought it out reported; investigations noted.
REPORTER: Edwin Newman