In our February 16th blog, we reported that a Texas federal judge recently stated, in denying the Title VII claim of a woman who alleged that she was fired for seeking to pump breast milk while on the job, that "Lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition." We suggested in our February 9th blog, that an appeal and reversal was likely, and that “this decision was headed for the dustbin of history.” See Judy Greenwald’s well-written article in Business Insurance, 2/10/12.
Just yesterday, the EEOC indeed filed an appeal to the federal court of appeals seeking a reversal of this decision, arguing that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII protect women from being fired for lactation and breast pumping.
The EEOC argued, first, that the lower court’s interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was too restricted and narrow. Second, the EEOC claimed that, in any event, discrimination based on lactation violates Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination because lactation is a normal bodily function that is unique to women, i.e., that it is discrimination based on a sex-specific trait.
We are one for one on this case so far — an appeal was filed. Let’s see what happens and if we were right about a reversal. I am doubling down on this bet.