Frontier Reaches Settlement in Recent Pregnancy Discrmination Lawsuit
Following two pregnancy discrimination lawsuits in a span of two years, Frontier Airlines reached an agreement to reassess its policies regarding pregnant and nursing employees earlier this week. Frontier faced these lawsuits after several women who were pregnant, breastfeeding, or had recently given birth accused the airline of discrimination. In the recent lawsuit, filed in the Colorado District Court, three flight attendants who were pregnant and nursing claimed they were forced to take unpaid leave. According to a Law360 article on the matter, Frontier and the American Civil Rights Union (ACLU) released a joint statement regarding the airline’s promise to strengthen and improve its pregnancy policies and accommodations.
Allegations Named in the Suit
The article notes the three claims brought forth by the flight attendants against the company for not providing alternative work that would allow employees to continue working, prohibiting women from flying after reaching 32 weeks of pregnancy, refusing to give breaks, and delegating sanitary spaces for nursing women. The plaintiffs collectively spoke out against these policies, stating that they were “serious penalties”for women who couldn’t comply both in and outside of the workplace. These allegations are similar to the initial lawsuit launched against the airline in December of 2019. Several Frontier pilots presented individual claims challenging the company’s policies around pregnant and nursing workers accusing the airline of violating Federal Aviation Authority law. The suit, which is still ongoing, specifically addresses federal regulations on granting breaks for pilots to “meet physiological needs.”
According to the settlements reached in court last week, Frontier agreed to refine multiple policies to include pregnancy-related absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) without taking disciplinary measures. Additionally, Frontier agreed to better accommodate its workers’ circumstances around not being able to fly during certain points in their pregnancy. The airline also mentioned its desire to enhance lactation sites in its base locations and allow flight attendants to safely pump while flying.
Federal and State Laws on Pregnancy Related Discrimination
There are federal and state laws that protect employees from pregnancy-related discrimination in the workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) forbids employers from discriminating against female employees based on pregnancy and/or subsequent medical issues. This includes any “aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.” Under the PDA, an employer must provide equal accommodations for these employees as it would for workers who have other kinds of disabilities.
Seek Legal Assistance Today
If your employer has unfavorably treated you based on pregnancy and related medical conditions, seek assistance from the Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City and Livingston, NJ. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. Our discrimination attorneys can help with a range of discrimination issues in employment, ranging from employment to sexual harassment to racial discrimination. If you believe you may be a victim of discrimination in the workplace, reach out to our team of attorneys for a free, confidential consulation.