Sunday, February 12, 2012

Is terminating an employee who asks to pump breast milk at work gender discrimination? Federal court says no.

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that a company did not discriminate against a new mother who claims she was fired after asking to pump breast milk at work. In the decision issued February 9, 2012, the judge reasoned that “firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination.” This question has never been addressed by an appeals court, according to the Washington Post.

This writer wonders how the prohibition against gender discrimination does not cover an activity as intrinsically - indeed, biologically - female as breast-feeding. I suspect that if men were the ones who breast-fed newborns, employers would keep a ready supply of breast pumps like they do staplers. 

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