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Pregnancy Bias Complaint Alleges Reduced Hours, Unlocked Supply Room to Express Breast Milk

February 03, 2021

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Division on Civil Rights has found probable cause to support a claim that a national retailer subjected a former employee to discrimination based on her pregnancy and failed to provide her with a suitable place to express breast milk, in violation of federal and state law. After returning from maternity leave, the employer allegedly reduced the employee's work hours. The reduction to part-time status also eliminated the employee from eligibility for employer-provided healthcare coverage. The employer also allegedly failed to reasonably accommodate her request for a place to express breast milk. Specifically, she was reportedly forced to use a frequently accessed utility room that did not have a lock on the door and that was filled with boxes of supplies. While expressing milk, she had to lean up against the unlocked door to try to ensure privacy, yet she would still be periodically interrupted by workers who walked in to obtain supplies. She also alleged that she was frequently ordered by her manager to "hurry up and finish" because there were customers waiting.