Former employees say that they were not allowed to pump breast milk on flights.
Two former employees will take their complaints about Frontier Airlines to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on claims of discrimination. The Associated Press reports that the Denver-based flight attendants want their case heard regarding their rights as new mothers.
The two flight attendants became mothers while working for the low-cost carrier and say they were forced to return within four months of giving birth due to a lack of parental leave allowance at the airline. Once they returned, the two say they were not allowed to pump breast milk for their children while working, but were forced to take unpaid time off to do so. Although the airline did try to allow them concessions between flights, they say the acceptable locations were not close to gates, making it difficult to care for their needs. Additionally, the two accuse the airline of deducting points against them for using sick time to care for their children, which may have jeopardized their employment.
“As a result of Frontier’s actions, I have had to choose between performing my job and earning a living on the one hand,” said Jo Roby, one of the two flight attendants in the complaint. “[Or] continuing to breastfeed my child on the other.”
In their defense, the airline cited federal and state employment laws that allowed their practices, combined with the current contract with the flight attendants union. In a statement to the AP, a spokesperson for Frontier said they “made good-faith efforts” to accommodate the two with their requests.
The incident is not the first time Frontier has faced legal trouble in the past four years. In 2016, a consulting firm filed a lawsuit against the carrier over service fees they allegedly never received. In addition, four female pilots challenged the carrier before the EEOC in the same year on similar discrimination allegations.