EEOC v. Houston Funding II, et al., No. 12-20220 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The EEOC sued Houston Funding, alleging that Houston Funding unlawfully discharged one of its employees because she was lactating and wanted to express milk at work. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Houston Funding, finding that, as a matter of law, discharging a female employee because she was lactating or expressing milk did not constitute sex discrimination. However, given the court's precedent, the court held that the EEOC's argument that Houston Funding discharged the employee because she was lactating or expressing milk stated a cognizable sex discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. An adverse employment action motivated by these factors clearly imposed upon women a burden that male employees need not - indeed, could not - suffer. Moreover, the court held that lactation was a related medical condition of pregnancy for purposes of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-(k). Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings.