Frontier Airlines pilots, flight attendants sue for discrimination

Eight women said they 'found themselves faced with mounting obstacles once they became pregnant'

DENVER — A group of Frontier Airlines pilots and flight attendants filed two lawsuits on Tuesday claiming the company discriminated against them during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

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The lawsuits said the eight women “found themselves faced with mounting obstacles once they became pregnant that forced them to make impossible choices between their families and their livelihood,” The Denver Post reported.

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The women said Frontier forced them onto unpaid leave during their pregnancies and did not make it possible for them to pump breast milk while working.

“Frontier’s failure to account for Plaintiff’s needs related to pregnancy and breastfeeding caused them to suffer serious penalties, both at and outside of work, simply because they had children,” according to the lawsuits, which were filed in federal court by a New York law firm, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado and the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU Foundation..

The Denver-based airline denied the allegations, saying in a statement that it has “strong policies in place in support of pregnant and lactating mothers.”

“Frontier offers a number of accommodations for pregnant and lactating pilots and flight attendants within the bounds of protecting public safety, which is always our top priority,” the statement said.

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One pilot said she was disciplined for seeking accommodations to pump breast milk and was not allowed to pump while in uniform, according to the lawsuit. Two other pilots claimed their accommodation requests went unanswered, and they were forced to pump in the airplane lavatory between flights.

Attorneys filed two lawsuits because Frontier's policies for flight attendants and pilots are different, said Sara Neel, an attorney for the ACLU of Colorado. The pilots are seeking a policy change, and the flight attendants are asking for damages.