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Former UP contraceptive policy not biased: Court


OMAHA, Neb.--Union Pacific Railroad's former policy of not paying for contraceptives was not discriminatory against women and therefore did not violate the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, a panel of judges with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Thursday's 2-to-1 ruling found that the policy was nondiscriminatory because Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific Railroad did not pay for male contraception either, according to court documents. The court decision reverses a federal judge's 2005 opinion.

The original suit was filed in 2003 in the U.S. District Court in Oregon by three female Union Pacific employees who alleged the company's policy violated the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, as part of the federal Civil Rights Act.

Following the 2003 filing, the company and its union agreed to begin covering contraceptives as part of the health plan, a spokesman said Friday.