Many politicians, business leaders, and scholars discount the role of public policy and emphasize the role of the labor market when explaining employers' maternity-leave policies, arguing that prior to the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, employers were already providing maternity leave in response to the increase in the number of women workers. Employers did create maternity-leave programs n the 1970's and 1980's, but not as a purely voluntary response in the absence of any government mandate. In 1972, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that employers who allowed leaves for disabling medical conditions must also allow them for maternity and that failure to do so would constitute sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As early as 1973, a survey found that 58 percent of large employers had responded with new maternity-leave policies. Because the 1972 EEOC ruling was contested in court, the ruling won press attention that popularized maternity-leave policies. Yet perhaps because the Supreme Court later struck down the ruling, politicians and scholars have failed to recognize its effects, assuming that employers adopted maternity-leave policies in response to the growing feminization of the workforce.


The passage suggests that the relationship between the view of the author with respect to maternity leave policy prior to passage of the FMLA and the view of the politicians, business leaders, and scholars mentioned in highlight text can best be characterized by which of the following statements?


They agree that both the 1972 EEOC ruling on maternity-leave policy and the increasing feminization of the workplace had an impact on employers' creation of maternity-leave programs but disagree about the relative importance of each factor.

They agree that the EEOC ruling on maternity-leave policy had an initial impact on employers' creation of maternity-leave programs but disagree over whether the Supreme Court's striking down of the EEOC ruling weakened that impact.

They agree that creating maternity-leave programs was a necessary response to the needs of the increasing number of women workers but disagree about whether maternity should be classified as a disabling medical condition.

They agree that employers created maternity-leave programs prior to passage of the FMLA but disagree about employers' motivations for doing so.

They agree that employers created maternity-leave programs prior to passage of the FMLA but disagree about how widespread those programs were.

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