CHICAGO (CN) – A woman who was fired after undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments suffered gender-based discrimination, the 7th Circuit ruled.
Nalco Co. had prevailed in the district court when the judge ruled that infertility is a condition that affects both men and women.
Judge Sykes reversed the decision, focusing on the specific medical procedure.
“Although infertility affects both men and women,” Sykes wrote, “Hall claims she was terminated for undergoing a … particular form of surgical impregnation that is performed only on women on account of their childbearing capacity.”
Hall worked as a secretary and requested a second leave of absence after her first in vitro treatment was unsuccessful. Her superior decided not to retain her when a pair of offices were consolidated, citing her “health condition and frequent absences.”