Allen v. Totes/Isotoner Corporation.
123 Ohio St.3d 216, 2009-Ohio-4231
Facts of the Case: LaNisa Allen appealed the original judgment in favor of Totes/Isotoner Corporation on the issue of whether the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits an employer from discriminating against a female employee because of or on the basis of lactation. Relevant law associated includes whether Allen established a prima facie case of “sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy,” or whether she “was simply and plainly terminated as an employee at will for taking an unauthorized, extra break.” Allen’s original complaint was termination attributable to discrimination, based on pregnancy and related…show more content…
4112.02, as sex discrimination under R.C. 4112.01(B). An opinion of whether they thought this discrimination did fall in that range was included in Judge O’Connor’s judgment.
Reasoning: Rationale leading the judges in a majority opinion to affirm the initial judgment, stemmed from the failure of Allen to develop a record from which a jury could find in her favor. However, several of the judges felt “lactation is a physical condition associated with pregnancy and childbirth, hence the FEPA, as amended by the Ohio PDA, prohibits discrimination against females because they are lactating.” It is proposed that the Supreme Court of Ohio should reach the merits to clarify the laws.
Separate Opinions: Judgment was affirmed by Judges Lundberg Stratton, O’Donnell, and Cupp, JJ. , as they believed Allen was discharged for taking unauthorized breaks from her scheduled employment. Since Allen failed to present evidence of a discriminatory motive from Isotoner, or that reason for releasing her from employment was a ground for discrimination, Lundberg Stratton, O’Donnell, and Cupp, JJ. felt only the issues presented by the facts of Isotoner discharging Allen due to ‘unauthorized breaks’ should be decided on, while issues of the facts not directly placed on issue should only be responded to with advisory opinion.
Judges Moyer, C.J. and O’Connor J. concurred in the foregoing judgment only. They assert lactation to fall within the scope of R.C. 4122.01(B) and that the