DENVER – The ACLU and a private law firm have filed discrimination charges, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of two Frontier Airlines flight attendants who allege the company is discriminating against them, by failing to provide accommodations related to pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In a news release, the flight attendants, Jo Roby and Stacy Rewitzer, say that despite their desire to return to work, they were forced onto unpaid leave after having their babies.
When the two women sought accommodations that would enable them to pump breast milk, they were told that no accommodations were possible, and were forbidden from pumping while on duty.
Rewitzer said she also faced disciplinary action, and risked termination because of Frontier’s policy, that penalizes pregnancy-related illness and absences.
“I love my job as a flight attendant for Frontier Airlines and shouldn’t have to choose between my job or my health and breastfeeding my child,” Rewitzer said.
“I am bringing these charges not just for me and my daughter, but also for future flight attendants and their families," Roby said. "No one should have to choose between being the mom she wants to be and pursuing the career that she loves.”
In their filing, the flight attendants are asking the EEOC to require Frontier to take several steps to make it easier for pregnant flight attendants and those who are breastfeeding, including:
- Providing clean and convenient accommodations for pumping while on duty, including during flight, when necessary.
- Allowing temporary alternative ground assignments
- Providing relief from the current strict attendance policy that penalizes flight attendants who miss work due to pregnancy.
- Offering meaningful parental leave for new parents
· Company Response
Company spokesman Jim Faulkner told Denver7 said via email, "Our policies and practices comply with all federal and state laws as well as he relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between Frontier and it's flight attendant group. We have made good-faith efforts to identify and provide rooms and other secure locations for use by breast-feeding flight attendants during their duty travel."
The ACLU says the formal complaints filed today come on the one-year anniversary of similar discrimination charges filed by the ACLU and private law firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP on behalf of four Frontier pilots, Brandy Beck, Shannon Kiedrowski, Erin Zielinski and Randi Freyer in May of 2016.