In 1996, a Florida woman named Ida Phillips heard that defense contractor Martin Marietta was hiring. When she went over to apply, Phillips was told the company wouldn't even take her job application because she had young children. It was OK for men with young children to work there, just not women. Ida Phillips got a lawyer and took this all the way to the Supreme Court. The court found this discriminatory under the Civil Rights Act passed two years earlier. Title VII of that law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color or sex.
Gillian Thomas, senior staff attorney with the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss her new book "Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives At Work."
Click the above audio player to hear the full interview.