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EEOC persuades court that lactation discrimination is gender bias

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A federal appeals court has ruled unanimously that firing a woman because she is lactating is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.

The decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston involved a woman who claimed she was fired when she asked if she would be allowed to pump breast milk when she returned to work after giving birth. The EEOC sued, but a district court dismissed the lawsuit (EEOC v. Houston Funding II LLC).

Overturning that decision on May 30, the 5th Circuit noted that firing a woman because she is lactating is illegal, since men—as a matter of biology—could not be fired for such a reason.

The case was sent back to the lower court for a trial on its merits.

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