Pregnancy Discrimination (PDA) & Breast-Feeding Rights (FLSA)

The Atlanta employment litigation attorneys of Martin & Martin fight tirelessly on behalf of employees unlawfully discriminated against by their employers on the basis of pregnancy or on behalf of those workers who are denied reasonable accommodations on the basis of pregnancy or the right to pump breastmilk at work.

Martin & Martin is an Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia

Kimberly Martin and Tom Martin are experienced Atlanta employment law attorneys who have successfully represented employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy. With new federal laws recently enacted to protect pregnant workers by requiring reasonable work accommodations and permit workers to pump breastmilk at work, it is important that workers know their rights.

Know The Laws Martin & Martin’s Who, What, When, Why & How Information on Pregnancy Discrimination and Breast Pumping Rights

Statutes: There are several federal statutes that protect workers on the basis of pregnancy or their right to pump at work, including:

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (Title VII/PDA)
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act)

To whom do they apply? The PDA, as part of Title VII, and the PWFA apply to employers with 15 or more employees. The FLSA applies to employers engaged in interstate commerce or that have two or more employees and have annual sales of at least $500,000. The PUMP Act applies to all employers subject to the FLSA. Employers with less than 50 employees may be excused from PUMP Act compliance if they can demonstrate that complying would impose an undue hardship.

What do they say? The PDA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

The PWFA states that employers must provide employees with pregnancy-related conditions with modifications or accommodations in the work environment or the manner in which things are normally done, as is necessary to allow the employee to perform an essential job function, apply for a job, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

The FLSA dictates that employers must provide break time and space for a covered non-exempt nursing mother to express breast milk for her nursing child for a full year after the child's birth. Employers must also allow reasonable break time whenever a covered employee needs to express breast milk.

The PUMP Act expands the FLSA protections, stating that employers must provide certain accommodations for salaried employees and other types of workers not covered under the FLSA. Additionally, time spent to express breast milk must be considered hours worked if the employee is also working.

When do you need to file a claim? In general, victims of pregnancy discrimination must file a charge with the EEOC within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination occurred.  The FLSA imposes a two-year statute of limitations for non-willful violations and a three-year statute of limitations for willful violations.

Why should you file a claim? Depending on the statute involved, an employee may be able to recover damages for violations including lost wages and benefits, future lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, including emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs of litigation.

How do you file a claim? Once an individual with a claim retains Martin & Martin, Kimberly and Tom file the Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, if it has not yet been filed and when one is required under the specific statute, on behalf of their client. Upon receipt of the EEOC’s Notice of Right Sue, they file the federal lawsuit in federal court. If a Charge of Discrimination is not required, they file a lawsuit directly in federal court.

Speak with the Discrimination Attorneys at Martin & Martin

If you believe your employer terminated you or treated you adversely at work due to your pregnancy or failed to accommodate your pregnancy or breast pumping rights, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The Atlanta employment litigation lawyers of Martin & Martin welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Fill out the Contact Us form or call the firm directly. Kimberly and Tom are typically available for same day free consultations.

For more information about employment laws, see Employment Laws Frequently Asked Questions.