Gender-Based Discrimination in the Workplace: Why Courts Tell Employers That Breastfeeding Discrimination Is Legal

Source: Ashley M. Alteri, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 36 no. 3, September 2016
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From the abstract:
In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act were signed into law. These Acts include a provision governing “reasonable break time for nursing mothers” for those employers and employees covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, neither these Acts, nor the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, nor Title VII, nor the Americans with Disabilities Act expressly protect women from discrimination resulting from her choice to lactate at work (to include either feeding a child directly from the breast or by expressing milk to be used at a later time). Accordingly, this article examines how federal courts have treated claims of breastfeeding discrimination at work. Although courts have generally been unsympathetic to these claims, employers should consider proactive accommodation measures because recent cases indicate that courts may be willing to entertain these claims.