In an important new ruling on the issue of discrimination against breastfeeding employees, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a jury’s decision that a police department’s refusal to provide a breastfeeding officer with a satisfactory ballistic vest amounted to a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and in the process, it upheld a $161,000 damages award for the employee. Discrimination against breastfeeding employees is an emerging and evolving area of the law, and, if you think you have an issue related to breastfeeding discrimination, you should promptly reach out to a knowledgeable Georgia pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
The plaintiff in the case, Stephanie, was a patrol officer who eventually rose to the position of police investigator. Early in 2012, while working within her department’s narcotics task force, she became pregnant. From August to November 2012, she took 12 weeks of FMLA leave at around the time of her baby’s birth.
Eight days after returning to work, the city reassigned her from narcotics to the patrol division. The city alleged that the change was a result of Stephanie’s failure to communicate with confidential informants; Stephanie asserted that it was a result of her new supervisor’s bias against her due to her use of FMLA leave.