Skip to main content

Ruling Opens Former ‘Men-Only’ Jobs To Women


The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in Bowe v. Colgate Palmolive Co. that an employer cannot divide jobs into categories reserved for one sex or the other. In this case, the employer would not allow women who had seniority – more years with the company than their male co-workers – to apply for promotions or even take a weight-lifting test that would qualify them for the better-paid position. The Court rules that any tests or considerations for hiring and promotions must be offered on a sex-neutral basis. Any seniority policy, which favors long-term employees, must cover both men and women equally.