A group consisting of Frontier Airlines pilots and flight attendants has filed two lawsuits with a Denver court accusing the carrier of discriminating against them for being pregnant and trying to pump for breastfeeding.
According to The Associated Press, the lawsuits filed Tuesday by four pilots and four flight attendants claim the female employees were forced by Frontier to take unpaid absences during their pregnancies and were refused proper facilities for breastfeeding and pumping.
Each of the lawsuits claims they are seeking to upgrade Frontier’s existing rules and regulations regarding pregnancy and breastfeeding activities. Some of the desired changes include “making ground positions available during pregnancy or breastfeeding, allowing schedule modifications for breastfeeding employees and providing employees breaks and designated locations to pump while on duty.”
“Pumping on the aircraft is very much a don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” flight attendant and plaintiff Melissa Hodgkins told The AP. “It’s not even permitted to do. So it was something I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk.”
The women said Frontier did not provide maternity leave and required they take unpaid leave at the end of their pregnancies with no alternative. The flight attendants in the lawsuit also claim they were penalized for absences during their pregnancies.
In addition, the airline is accused of failing to provide breastfeeding accommodations and allegedly banning employees from pumping while on duty. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is working with the pilots and attendants who filed the lawsuit.
Frontier Airlines released the following statement regarding the lawsuits:
“Frontier Airlines has strong policies in place in support of pregnant and lactating mothers and remains committed to treating all of its team members equally and fairly.
Frontier offers a number of accommodations for pregnant and lactating pilots and flight attendants within the bounds of protecting public safety, which is always our top priority.
Frontier denies the allegations and will defend vigorously against these lawsuits.”
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