A Los Angeles woman is suing Marriott after being denied lactation breaks, which are protected accommodations for new mothers under both California and federal law. Marriott has allegedly denied the surrogate mother and employee two 30-minute breaks per day to pump breast milk for the child’s parents.
Initially, Marriott did allow two 30-minute breaks for the woman, but no longer allowed the accommodation after 30 days. As a result, the woman was forced to pump breast milk at night, which caused her insomnia, blisters and other health problems. The woman offered to provide Marriot a doctor’s note, but was not allowed to by her supervisors.
Marriott is denying charges of pregnancy discrimination, stating that the employee is not entitled to lactation breaks because she is a surrogate mother. Marriott claims pregnancy accommodations are only required for mothers and not surrogates. This turn of events could possibly expand workplace pregnancy protections. Additionally, the lawsuit raises the question as to whether employers have a right to know why their workers are pregnant.
How to Identify Pregnancy Discrimination
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pregnancy discrimination can entail denying maternity leave, firing and hiring practices, and failing to make accommodations for temporary disability. Employees have protected rights during pregnancy, and employers must make accommodations under state and federal laws.
Pregnant employees may have legal options. Discrimination should not be allowed to stand, and aggrieved workers should fight back and explore what options are available.
For more information on pregnancy discrimination, continue exploring our website.