The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Colorado, and the law firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP have filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of four female Frontier Airlines pilots who claim that the company’s policies discriminate against women by failing to provide accommodations related to pregnancy and breast-feeding.
The pilots, who have collectively worked for Frontier for 35 years, assert that despite their dedication to their jobs, the airline’s failure to accommodate their pumping needs made it extremely difficult for them to continue breast-feeding their babies once they returned to work.
The pilots are Shannon Kiedrowski, who has worked for Frontier since 2002, Brandy Beck, who has worked there since 2003, and Erin Zielinski and Randi Freyer, who have worked there since 2013.
The charges assert that Frontier’s policies violate state and federal laws against sex discrimination in employment because they treat pregnancy and breast-feeding less favorably than other medical conditions or disabilities and have a disproportionate effect on women. They also allege violations of the Colorado Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act.
The charges ask the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to require Frontier to take several steps to make it easier for pregnant pilots and pilots who are breast-feeding, including that Frontier provide women the option of taking a temporary alternative assignment that would permit them to continue working during pregnancy or breast-feeding; allow more than 120 days of unpaid maternal leave to permit women to continue breast-feeding; designate places where a pilot who is breast-feeding can pump, including at airports Frontier uses; and allow pilots who are breast-feeding to pump on the aircraft when necessary.
Prior to filing, the ACLU and Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP sent a letter to Frontier requesting that Frontier implement policy changes to adequately accommodate pregnant and breast-feeding pilots, but Frontier never responded.