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Flight attendant flies high in pregnancy discrimination case

No matter where you work in Milwaukee, pumping breast milk on the job can present real challenges for new moms. For people who fly for a living – airline pilots and flight attendants – the challenges of finding the time and privacy for pumping are even greater.

Last year, several cases involving alleged discrimination against pregnant and breast-feeding airline employees moved forward. One involved four female pilots who sued Frontier Airlines; and another was filed by a flight attendant working for Delta Air Lines.

The Delta attendant said the airline violated a New York City human rights law by failing to provide her with space in which to pump breast milk. The case was recently settled by Endeavor Air (a subsidiary of Delta) for $30,000, Fortune magazine reports. The figure includes $20,000 for emotional distress and $10,000 to pay her employment law attorney.

Perhaps most important, the airline agreed to revise accommodation policies and train its staff on the changes.

An airline spokesperson couldn’t address the settlement, but said in a statement that the company strives “to provide a great place to work for our employees, including offering lactation rooms and other reasonable accommodation to new mothers and expectant mothers.”

While advocates of employee rights hail the settlement as a victory, it should be noted that this is a settlement and not a court decision or change in law. Pregnant women and new mothers who work for airlines and companies in other industries are far too often subject to discrimination specifically prohibited by the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Contact an attorney with the Milwaukee law offices of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. to discuss your situation.

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