7th Circuit won't rehear in vitro case

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals won't rehear a case of first impression involving an Indiana woman's claim that she was wrongfully fired for taking time off for in vitro fertilization, and attorneys haven't decided whether to seek further review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the first of its kind for any federal appellate court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the woman July 16 in Cheryl Hall v. Nalco Co., No. 06-3684, a case that could have implications on women workers across the country. The appellate panel reversed a ruling from U.S. District Judge David Coar in the Northern District of Illinois' Eastern Division, which granted summary judgment for the employer on the ground that Hall, in someone seeking that surgical impregnation, didn't fall within a protected class and couldn't prove sex discrimination because infertility is a gender-neutral condition.

The 7th Circuit found the District judge's emphasis on "infertility alone" and application of caselaw was misplaced based on the facts of this case.

A docket entry shows that the full court declined Aug. 15 to grant a rehearing en banc, noting that no active judge has requested a vote on that and Judges Diane Sykes, Kenneth Ripple, and Ilana Rover on the original panel denied that vote. Judge Richard Posner did not vote, the docket shows.

Nalco's attorney on the appeal, Mark Lies II in Chicago, declined to comment on the case or ruling and said his firm has a policy against that.

But Charlie Pajor, Nalco's senior manager of external communications, wrote in an e-mail to Indiana Lawyer Thursday, "We are still considering all our legal options, including further appeals, but have made no final decision. Because this issue is still in litigation, we cannot comment on the case itself."

Court rules give Nalco 90 days from the latest judgment - until mid-November - to file a petition for writ of certiorari.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.