Should lactation discrimination be considered unlawful sex discrimination?

  • Lactation Discrimination is Sex Descrimination

    Yes, lactation discrimination should be considered unlawful sex discrimination as it punishes a woman for what is a natural and beautiful act, the feeding of her infant. The fear of a woman lactating hearkens back to a terrible area of Puritanism that punished a woman simply for being a woman.

  • Men don't face this problem. Women do.

    Menstruation is a normal aspect of female physiology, which is interrupted during pregnancy, but resumes shortly afterthe pregnancy concludes. Similarly, lactation is a normal aspect of female physiology that is initiated by pregnancy and concludes sometime thereafter. If an employer commits unlawful sex-based discrimination by instituting a policy revolving around a woman’s post-pregnancy menstrual cycle, as in Harper, it is difficult to see how an employer who makes an employment decision based upon whether a woman is lactating can avoid such unlawful sex discrimination. And as both menstruation and lactation are aspects of female physiology that are affected by pregnancy, each seems readily to fit into a reasonable definition of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions

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