Discrimination against breastfeeding mothers stretches well above mere accommodations in many companies. Breastfeeding mothers are often prohibited from taking necessary breaks, overlooked for promotions, verbally assaulted, and are even forced into demotions or terminated from employment. Although federal law prohibits such activities, many companies are noncompliant. Denial of a woman’s right to breastfeed causes physical harm to the mother and child.
The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 provides protection for pregnant women, including maternity leave and other health and equality issues. Last year, a nursing mother and narcotics investigator from Tuscaloosa, Alabama endured harassment and discrimination after she returned from her maternity leave. She was not afforded the same rights as other officers and was intentionally given duties she was unable to fulfill after she was demoted upon her return. However, the Eleventh Circuit determined that women who are nursing are still protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
There are a multitude of reasons why women should not be prohibited to nurse in the workplace. Breastfeeding is a doctor recommended health decision. By restricting breastfeeding, it condones gender discrimination, promotes the objectifying of women, and supports laws that do not have a nursing mother’s best interests in mind. It also serves to condemn most women who choose to breastfeed.
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace because of breastfeeding, the Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout South Jersey.