In the agreement announced Tuesday, Frontier will allow pilots to express breast milk in the cockpit during “non-critical phases” of flights.
The Denver-based airline also agreed to allow pilots who are breastfeeding to reduce their flight time and treat pregnancy and lactation the same as other medical conditions if they prevent pilots from flying.
The agreement was announced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency filed charges against Frontier in 2018, after several pilots sued the airline.
Aditi Fruitwala, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit, said the settlement should send a message to airlines and other employers about the need to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees.
“We are hopeful this will inspire more change and stronger protections for workers across the airline industry,” Fruitwala said.
Frontier vice president of labor relations Jacalyn Peter said the airline is “at the forefront of meeting the needs of pregnant and nursing mothers in the airline industry.” She said advances in portable breastfeeding technology have made it possible to reach an agreement that maintains safety.
Last year, Frontier settled a similar lawsuit brought by flight attendants. Employees said Frontier forced them to take unpaid leave for pregnancy-related absences and did not allow them to express breast milk while working.
Frontier did not admit liability in settling the lawsuits. In the case involving Denver-based pilots, the airline also agreed to abide by an existing union agreement that allows pregnant pilots to fly if they are medically cleared.
The airline also agreed to continue allowing breastfeeding pilots to reduce their flight schedules to 50 flight hours per month and to update and make available a list of breastfeeding facilities at airports.