U.S. Supreme Court Rules It's Legal To Fire Women For Breastfeeding

Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a company who coerced mom to resign after she attempted to pump milk at work

An Iowa mom who was fired for breastfeeding filed a lawsuit against her former employer for sex discrimination.

She lost. 

Angela Ames then appealed the court's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismissed Ames sex discrimination appeal because of the trial court's findings that "breastfeeding-related firings aren't sexist because men can lactate too."

When Ames returned from maternity leave two months after having her baby, she was unable to pump milk at work. Ames was denied access to the lactation room because she did not fill out the required paperwork before returning to work. However, Ames claims she was not informed about the paperwork until her first day back.

When Ames asked her supervisor at Nationwide Insurance for accommodations that would allow her to pump milk for her infant, the supervisor allegedly told Ames to “go home and be with your babies." The supervisor also visited Ames at her desk to inform her she would be responsible for all of the work she missed during her leave time. Then, later that day, the same supervisor dictate a letter of resignation to Ames, coercing her to resign. 

The Supreme Court also found the comment, "go home and be with your babies" to be gender-nuetral. 

According to the court that heard her case, Ames didn't sufficiently attempt to find a solution before resigning from her position.

Galen Sherwin, an American Civil Liberties Union member, says. "Congress long ago rejected this ridiculous reasoning when it passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. It's disheartening to see it resurface again."

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not include reference to lactation.

Since the Supreme Court, the highest court of appeal in the US, rejected the petition by Ames, there is nothing else she can do. 

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