By Suzannah Weiss. Photos: Stocksy.
United isn't the only major airline having a rough week. Delta just settled a lawsuit with a flight attendant who got less than helpful accommodations when she was a new mom.
The flight attendant, who worked for the Delta-owned airline Endeavor Air, had to walk for 20 minutes—longer than her breaks—to pump her breast milk at the closest private area to her terminal. When she asked for a more convenient location, the airline told her to go to the staff lounge or bathroom.
Last February, she filed a complaint against Endeavor Air for allegedly violating a New York City human rights law. The company will pay her $20,000 to compensate for the emotional distress she experienced, along with $10,000 to cover the cost of her attorney. The company also has to post information in its New York City workplaces about laws regarding pregnant women's and mothers' rights and make it easier for employees to access resources to care for their children. Though the flight attendant's child is no longer drinking breast milk, she got a closer space while the suit was being settled.
Obamacare requires most companies to provide moms with places to breastfeed, but airlines are one exception. And since they're not always subject to local laws that might provide stricter requirements, they can take advantage of loopholes that leave working moms in a difficult position.
But the new settlement serves as a warning to airlines that if they make it difficult for moms to nurse or breast-pump moms, they could be held accountable. "We hope this settlement sends a signal to all employers, including airlines, that they are required to give reasonable accommodations to their employees related to pregnancy and childbirth," the flight attendant's lawyer Katherine Greenberg, Supervising Attorney of Employment Investigations for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, told Fortune. "And if not, they’re going to be responsible for the effects it has on that individual."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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