AC Transit sued for pregnancy discrimination and failure to accommodate breastfeeding mothers
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) has been accused of discriminating against pregnant and nursing mothers by not accommodating their needs and disregarding the laws that protect their rights.
The class action lawsuit states that the female employees were not given time or clean facilities in which to pump breastmilk. One woman, Amber McNaulty, was asked to do so in a dirty closet with little privacy.
As a result of not being able to pump breastmilk at work McNaulty says she felt forced to leave her job as a bus driver with A.C. Transit to take a desk job in the company that allowed her to do so. The new position also came with a pay cut.
McNaulty also claims she was denied a voucher to buy a bigger uniform when she was pregnant with her first child.
“This is predominantly a workforce that used to be for men. In 2019, you have now a workforce that is women. You have childbearing age women,” said McNaulty.
Under California law, employers must make a reasonable effort to provide nursing mothers ample time to pump and a private place to do so. The space provided should be close to where the woman works and may not be a bathroom stall. Employers are not required to provide these for nursing mothers if doing so will severely disrupt business operations, however.
McNaulty and the other women named in the lawsuit will seek monetary damages and hope that AC Transit will change its attitude toward working mothers. They expect additional women to come forward and join their lawsuit against the East Bay transportation agency.