Female pilots and flight attendants have filed a lawsuit against Frontier Airlines, alleging that the airline discriminated against them when they were pregnant and breastfeeding.
The lawsuit alleges the women “found themselves faced with mounting obstacles once they became pregnant that forced them to make impossible choices between their families and their livelihood.”
According to the lawsuit, Frontier forced them to take unpaid leave while they were pregnant and didn’t make it possible for them to pump breast milk while working.
“Frontier’s failure to account for Plaintiff’s needs related to pregnancy and breastfeeding caused them to suffer serious penalties, both at and outside of work, simply because they had children,” the lawsuit stated.
One pilot claimed she was disciplined for asking for accommodations to pump breast milk and wasn’t allowed to pump while in uniform.
Another plaintiff, flight attendant Melissa Hodgkins, said she didn’t want to risk pumping while at work.
“Pumping on the aircraft is very much a don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” Hodgkins said. “It’s not even permitted to do. So it was something I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk.”
“Frontier has systematically discriminated against pregnant and breastfeeding flight attendants by penalizing them for pregnancy-related absences protected under the FMLA, singling out pregnancy and breastfeeding for worse treatment than other conditions, and failing to comply with Colorado laws that require employers to accommodate pregnancy and related medical conditions and specifically mandate the provision of break time and a private, sanitary location to pump,” the suit alleges.
Frontier has denied the allegations in the lawsuit, stating that it has, “-strong policies in place in support of pregnant and lactating mothers.”
“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,” the statement said.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to having Frontier barred from enforcing their current policies requiring them to adopt new ones that make “reasonable and effective accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding flight attendants” as well as better training for managers and human resources personnel regarding the new policies