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26 Harv. Women's L.J. 77 (2003)
Beyond the Maternal Wall: Relief for Family Caregivers Who Are Discriminated against on the Job

handle is hein.journals/hwlj26 and id is 81 raw text is: BEYOND THE MATERNAL WALL:
RELIEF FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS WHO ARE
DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE JOB
JOAN C. WILLIAMS*
NANCY SEGAL**
A Boston lawyer: When I returned from maternity leave, I was
given the work of a paralegal. I wanted to say, 'I had a baby, not
a lobotomy.
A supervisor to a woman eight months pregnant: I was going
to put you in charge of that office, but look at you now.2
A secretary: [W]hen you work part-time or temporary, they treat
you differently, they don't take you serious. Another part-timer:
It's as if you were putting up a sign: 'Don't consider me for
promotions now.'3
We all know about the glass ceiling. But many women never get near
it; they are stopped long before by the maternal wall. Sociological studies
show that motherhood accounts for an increasing proportion of the wage
gap between men and women.' While the wages of young women with-
* Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law; Executive Di-
rector, Program on Gender, Work & Family.
** Senior Advisor for Public Policy, Service Employees International Union; former
Legal Director, Program on Gender, Work and Family, American University, Washington
College of Law. The authors wish to thank the Washington College of Law for its ongoing
generosity in supporting the Program; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for funding that
allowed us to complete the survey discussed herein; and the American Association of Uni-
versity Women, whose 2001-2002 Scholar-in-Residence Award also provided funds for the
Program's work. Grateful thanks as well to Angela Harris, Holly Cooper, Laura Kessler,
Susan Sturm, Helen Norton, Christine Jolls, Reva Siegel, Peggie Smith, and to the mem-
bers of the Washington-Baltimore Feminist Law Professors Reading Group-Mary Clark,
Marcia Cohen, Naomi Cahn, Mike Selmi, and Jana Singer-for insightful comments on
earlier drafts of this Article. Thanks also to Megan Brown and Kay Stewart, who provided
the necessary support to complete this project, and to Marley Weiss, whose early help and
encouragement were much appreciated. No work of this length could be completed without
expert research assistance, and we have had plenty of it through the generosity of Dean
Claudio Grossman, from Abigail Coleman, Karyn Dobroskey, Rob Knight, Anita Khusha-
lani, Laura Pitz, Ellen Kyriacou Renaud, Jeremy Barber, Jennifer Birlem. Erika Covarru-
bias, Laura D'Afflitti, Anne Leete, and Lenore L. Espinosa.
'JOAN WILLIAMS, UNBENDING GENDER: WHY WORK AND FAMILY CONFLICT AND
WHAT TO DO ABOUT I 69 (2000) [hereinafter WILLIAMS, UNBENDING GENDER].
2 Moore v. Ala. State Univ., 980 F. Supp. 426, 431 (M.D. Ala. 1997).
'WILLIAMS, UNBENDING GENDER, supra note I, at 72.
4 Michelle J. Budig & Paula England, The Wage Penalty for Motherhood, 66 AM. Soc.

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