Document Type



Wetzel v. Liberty Mutual, 511 F.2d 199 (3d Cir.), cert. granted 95 S.Ct. 1989 (1975).*

Illness and disability are two of the major problems facing the over 86,000,000 men and women, sixteen years of age and older, who comprise today's total labor force in the United States. Due to the extreme probability that one of these misfortunes will strike at some point in their working careers, workers, in considering job positions with different organizations, are demanding some type of security to insulate them from the financial consequences of long-term illnesses and on-the-job injuries. In an effort to meet these demands, employers have devised and instituted various insurance and disability plans. A typical plan will more often than not be financed by both employer and employee contributions. While the plans themselves are fairly comprehensive in scope, they frequently exclude from coverage certain stated disabilities, e.g., alcoholism, suicide and drug addiction.

In addition to these exclusions, a large number of insurance plans also disallow compensation for disabilities due to pregnancy and related causes, although companies normally allow pregnant employees to take leaves of absence. In recent years these practices have come under attack. While employers are not compelled by law to provide disability plans, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 19641 provides that once these plans are established they cannot treat similarly situated employees differently.

Publication Date

May 1976

Included in

Law Commons



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