Surrogate Mother May Proceed on Discrimination Claim against Marriot

breast pumpA motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed in a California District Court by Marriott was denied.  A surrogate mother may proceed in her cause of action alleging Title VII discrimination against the hotel chain claiming she was discriminated against by not being permitted to express breast milk after giving birth. U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow said Plaintiff Mary Gonzales has shown enough to proceed with claims that the hotel violated federal and California law.

Mary Gonzales gave birth to a child as a surrogate for an infertile couple.  She requested opportunity to express milk for the couple and a milk bank on certain breaks when she nature permitted her to do so.  The managers of the hotel chain demanded that she perform the task during her lunch break when nature perhaps wasn’t calling.Ms. Gonzales claimed that she was discriminated against because her employer held impermissible stereotypes about legitimate motherhood. Her Complaint also included claims regarding her physical need for an accommodation (i.e. “clogged ducts, severe breast pain and soreness, blisters, and loss of sleep in order to express milk at night”).

Gonzales works for the LAX Marriott as a general accountant and cashier, according to the 17-page complaint.  But soon after her surrogacy ended, Gonzales’ supervisor, Bill Dea, told her she had to stop taking lactation breaks, according to the complaint.Gonzales seeks a declaration that Marriott’s refusal to let her take lactation breaks violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Mary Gonzales v. Marriott International, Inc. et al 2:15-cv-03301

About Roland

Roland was born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The first few years he resided in Paris, France with his mother who was French. In Hendersonville, he attended Beech Senior High School where played soccer and studied in the honors curriculum. Subsequently, he pursued two majors in political science and economics while graduating in three years.

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