A surrogate employed by Marriott hotels is suing her employer over her inability to take lactation breaks while working.
According to Slate Magazine,
Marriott employee in California is suing the hotel chain for discrimination under both state and federal law, alleging that Marriott denied her legally mandated lactation breaks. Marriott says it was not required by law to give plaintiff Mary Gonzales, a cashier and accountant at the LAX Marriott, breaks to pump breast milk because Gonzales is a gestational surrogate, not a mother with an infant at home.
As a surrogate, Gonzales gave birth in April 2014 and, upon returning to work in June, took two 30-minute breaks each day to pump breast milk to send to the child’s parents. Once her obligation to send milk to that family ended at the end of the month, she decided to continue pumping for the “personal health benefits” of lactation and to donate to the Preemies Milk Bank and women who are unable to breastfeed. Gonzales alleges that her boss told her she could continue taking lactation breaks for another 30 days; when those 30 days were up, she began using her 30-minute lunch break instead, and ate lunch during her 10-minute morning rest break. As a result, Gonzales says, she suffered from clogged ducts, breast pain, blisters, and loss of sleep as she had to pump at night.
What many are questioning is should this be covered under the law? As the response from Marriott stated, “personal health benefits’ of lactation—which it compares to ‘exercising during the workday’—is unfounded.” What are your thoughts on this case?
Read more here about the Pregnant Surrogate Employed by Marriott Suing over Lactation Breaks.