Airline Faces Liability for Failing to Accommodate Breastfeeding Employees

06.28.2016

A complaint was recently filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Frontier Airline’s female employees who Frontier allegedly failed to accommodate when those employees were breastfeeding children and needed to express breast milk.  According to the complaint, the employees were not given proper locations to express breast milk; no location was designated at airports or on the aircraft.  Employers must provide breaks and non-bathroom locations to such employees. 

The employees also claim that at the end of their pregnancies when they were unable to work as pilots, the airline failed to provide alternative, temporary work assignments, and instead forced them to take unpaid leave for weeks. 

Frontier denies the allegations, but if proven, its actions clearly violate the law in regards to accommodating breastfeeding employees.   Employers must remember that directing employees to a bathroom to express breast milk is not an acceptable accommodation.  Employees must be provided a private room that can be free from intrusion by co-workers and the public.  Breastfeeding employees must also be given reasonable breaks in order to express breast milk while at work.