Frontier Airlines is denying allegations that the company has made it difficult for pregnant or breastfeeding employees to continue working, as well as allegations that the airline offered inadequate leave for staffers following childbirth.
The company’s statement came in response to two federal lawsuits filed on Tuesday by a group of female pilots and flight attendants employed by the airline alleging that “Frontier’s failure to account for Plaintiff’s needs related to pregnancy and breastfeeding caused them to suffer serious penalties, both at and outside of work, simply because they had children.”
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Pilots and flight attendants reported being forced into “unpaid leave,” according to the lawsuits, as Frontier offered “no paid parental leave and only a short unpaid leave following childbirth.”
And upon returning to work, the plaintiffs claim “Frontier refused to make it possible for them to pump breast milk on the job, which they needed to do to be able to continue nursing,” said documents obtained by the Denver Post.
One pilot added that she faced disciplinary action for inquiring about appropriate pumping accommodations, while two flight attendants claimed they were “forced to pump in an unsanitary airplane lavatory between flights,” the outlet reported.
The Frontier employees as a whole claimed they “found themselves faced with mounting obstacles once they became pregnant that forced them to make impossible choices between their families and their livelihood.”
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Both lawsuits — one representing the pilots, and one the flight attendants, as Frontier has separate policies for both — were filed on behalf of the group by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado, along with the law firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP, and the nonprofit law firm of Towards Justice.
In its statement, the ACLU added that it had previously filed these complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “but the investigation did not progress.”
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Frontier has denied all the allegations.
“Frontier Airlines has strong policies in place in support of pregnant and lactating mothers and remains committed to treating all of its team members equally and fairly,” according to a statement obtained by the Post. “Frontier offers a number of accommodations for pregnant and lactating pilots and flight attendants within the bounds of protecting public safety, which is always our top priority.”
The airline also vowed to defend itself “vigorously,” the outlet shared.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.