Coach claims Notre Dame dismissed her for flagging sexism

Diving letter:

  • The University of Notre Dame was sued by a former swim coach who said she was discriminated against on grounds of sex, downgraded for pregnancy, and paid less than a male swim coach (Jensen v University of Notre Dame Fond du Lac, No. 3 : 21-cv-00346 (ND Ind., May 17, 2021)).
  • The plaintiff said the senior swim coach “openly patronized and judged” her plan to take a few weeks of maternity leave, and he accused her after pregnancy of disappearing during the meetings. According to court records, she stated that her absences and multiple visits to the toilet during a swimming meeting were used to express breast milk. The plaintiff also said that regarding her postpartum health concerns, the head swim coach told her that “nobody cares what you have been through”. She said her contract was not renewed following her complaint.
  • She alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Equal Pay Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. She is suing for lost wages and services, compensation for mental pain and punitive damages as well as lawyers’ fees and costs.

Dive Insight:

Treatment of pregnant workers has been a particular focus of recent legislation, but there is still movement on this issue.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, insured employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a place other than a toilet to express breast milk. The location must be private and free from intruders. Employers must allow an appropriate break for this up to a year after the baby is born. Many states have their own laws about breastfeeding, and some of those laws protect breastfeeding mothers more than federal regulations, so employers should also check the applicable state laws.

While federal law does not require employers to provide breastfeeding breaks and space for exempt workers, many employers offer these as best practices, and some do even more. Goldman Sachs, for example, pays mothers who send breast milk home when they travel to work.

Experts say it doesn’t take much to set up a dedicated breastfeeding room for nursing mothers. All you need is a comfortable chair, a door with a lock, a socket and a table with space for a pump and a laptop. For workplaces with little space, free-standing lactation capsules can be considered.

While amenities are helpful, it is equally important to have an open, supportive environment for pregnant workers and new mothers. Having a manager educated about breastfeeding is the key to success, according to Work writer Jessica Shortall. Pump. To repeat. A lactation guideline can also be useful.

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