Last week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a widely criticized trial court ruling that had held that a discharge of an employee because she was lactating or expressing breast milk did not constitute unlawful sex discrimination. In EEOC v. Houston Funding, II, Ltd, the employer moved for summary judgment arguing that Title VII did not cover “breast pump discrimination.”
The trial court granted the motion holding that “firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping [was] not sex discrimination,” and lactation was not a related medical condition of pregnancy. On appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court reasoned that because lactation is a burden that is only imposed on women, an adverse employment action motivated by this factor would constitute unlawful sex discrimination. The Court further confirmed that lactation is a related medical condition of pregnancy of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
You can read the full opinion here.
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