One year after employees asked Dow Jones to add coverage of prescription contraceptives to the employee health plan, the company has still failed to act, leading three women to sue Dow Jones for discrimination. A reporter with the Wall Street Journal and two reporters from Smart Money magazine contend that the company is violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Dow Jones’ health plan covers other types of prescription drugs, but explicitly excludes prescription contraceptives.
According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), women of reproductive age throughout the US pay more out-of-pocket health care costs than men because of reproductive health expenses not covered by insurance plans. PPFA filed charges against Dow Jones with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of the Dow Jones employees. “Contraception is basic health care,” said PPFA President Gloria Feldt. “Studies indicate that most Americans believe prescription contraception should be covered. It’s time for corporations such as Dow Jones to do what is right for the health of America’s women.”