ACLU-TN Cooperating Attorney: Maureen Holland, Holland & Associates, PC

Jessica Anderson was employed with the Memphis Fire Department as an emergency medical technician. During the course of her employment, she had two children. After returning to work from each maternity leave, Anderson suffered discrimination and retaliation from co-workers and supervisors.

After returning from maternity leave after each birth, Anderson requested a clean and sanitary place to pump breast milk for her children. The fire department instructed her, in violation of state law, to pump in an unsanitary rest room open to the general public. At times, Anderson had to clean the restroom facilities of urine and feces before pumping. The fire department also told her that taking time to pump every four hours was unreasonable and that if she was unavailable for service because of pumping, her pay would be docked. She was subjected to ridicule and derision when she took time to pump.

ACLU-TN intervened on Anderson’s behalf when she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After an investigation by the EEOC, the case was recommended for mediation.

The City agreed to settle the matter with Anderson.

Since filing the complaint, Anderson has secured new employment.