BOISE — A Nampa woman who claimed management at a Home Depot in Nampa did not allow her to take breaks to pump breast milk is asking a U.S. district judge to reconsider his decision to dismiss the case.
Randi Allred, who filed the lawsuit in November 2017, worked at Home Depot for four years, including in Meridian and Nampa, before she felt compelled to quit, citing intolerable work conditions.
According to the complaint, Allred’s child was diagnosed with soy and cow milk allergies and needed to be breast fed. The lawsuit claims Home Depot management did not allow Allred to take breaks to pump her breast milk even though she provided her supervisor with a medical note that recommended the breaks. Allred said her manager at the time, Josh Hazlett, scheduled her for 10-hour shifts, seven days a week. Despite several attempts to negotiate, Allred said in her complaint that Hazlett refused to accommodate her need for regular breaks, which the lawsuit says is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill determined that Allred failed to provide sufficient facts that a “reasonable juror could conclude that the working conditions became so intolerable that a reasonable person would have to quit,” according to his written decision.
On June 28, he ruled in favor of Home Depot’s motion for summary judgement, meaning there is not sufficient evidence to proceed to a jury trial.
Winmill wrote in his 40-page decision that “even though the Court finds that there is sufficient direct evidence to conclude that discrimination occurred,” Allred failed to show that she was constructively discharged.
On Friday, Allred’s attorney Shelly Cozakos filed a motion to reconsider the summary judgement to dismiss the case.
Cozakos claimed that the court’s decision on constructive discharge didn’t account that Allred was a “nursing mother in pain, with leaking breasts, and her milk supply was rapidly decreasing. Without sufficient milk supply, Ms. Allred was unable to provide adequate nutrition to her baby — and her baby was solely dependent upon breast milk for nutrition because he was intolerant to store-bought formula.”
The court failed to consider Allred’s physical and emotional condition when she resigned from her job, the motion states.
“Ms. Allred was forced to choose between doing her job and feeding her baby,” according to the motion.
To Winmill, denying Home Depot summary judgement would “strip employers of the ability and opportunity to remedy workplace misconduct. Rather than being a place of last resort, federal courts would become the first and only stop in resolving workplace disputes.”