Pumping at work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-30-2011, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't consider myself a lactivist by any means, but figured this is the best place to ask my question


I work at CVS.  I only work 2 or 3 shifts a week, for 5 or 6 hours at a time.  I do need to pump at least once in a shift. 


There's not really a practical, discreet place to pump.  We have a break room, but it doesn't have a lock on the door.  This means that basically anyone working can walk in at any time.  At my store in particular, the door to the breakroom is accessible to the public and is right next to the public restroom doors, so really, anyone could walk in, thinking they were walking into the restroom by mistake.  A sign on the door would of course be far from discreet. 


There is a room that locks, the office.  However, of course the managment has a key and can walk in at any time as a result.  Though, they are of course nice enough NOT too, so I am not so much worried about them walking in on me.  The issue with the office is that for security reasons, it has a camera and video recorder. 


The only place in the store with a locking door and no camera is the restroom.  Gross.  It's questionable to even USE the restroom, let alone sit there and pump.  And from a practical standpoint, locking myself in the restroom for 15 to 30 minutes isn't a good idea anyway.


This is a problem across several stores in my area, as I have worked at different locations.  At some locations, the breakroom, the restrooms and the office are all locked away behind the same key coded door, but since we allow the public to use the restrooms, again anyone can be let in at any time.


So, my questions:


I understand that the law says they are supposed to provide time and location for pumping?  Is that correct? 


And if so, how would this situation fit into the law?  And, if they aren't reallly following the law, is there something I can or should do about it? 


ETA:  having worked in retail often in the past, I believe this is probably problem in many if not post retail locations, so I am also wondering what other nursing mammas working retail have done?

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#2 of 8 Old 01-31-2011, 08:41 AM
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Here's some information on the government regs:



Their FAQ says: "The space provided by the employer cannot be a bathroom, and it must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public. "



It sounds like the biggest issue for you is the security camera in the office, right? What if you made an arrangement where you covered the camera? Or brought a screen in, or strung up a curtain, so that you could be shielded from view?

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#3 of 8 Old 02-02-2011, 11:23 AM
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Although I don't work retail, I also don't have a place to pump on my lunch breaks. I pump in my car -- is that an option? (Yes, I know, legally they have to provide me a place to pump, blah, blah, blah, but I've asked for venetian blinds so I can see my computer screen for 4 years from the blinding sun, and I just got them now...so a space to pump would be a ridiculous request.) I am so not a lactivist, but breastfeeding makes me and my baby happy, so this is the way that works best for me.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-02-2011, 12:56 PM
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I've never actually had to pump at work since I quit my job after having my first baby, but there are laws protecting women who breastfeed.  Employers are required to have a space designated for breastfeeding that is private (not a bathroom) where moms can pump.  I'm really surprised that a pharmacy of all places doesn't have somewhere to pump!  I have a friend who works for Walgreens (pharmacist)...let me ask her what she does at work.  I know she works 10-hour shifts, so she must pump more than once a day!

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#5 of 8 Old 02-02-2011, 05:14 PM
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Are those the only rooms with a door that will lock in the entire store? If so, your best bet sounds like it would be the office as long as you could rig up a screen or cover up the camera in some way.


They might be able to put a lock on a room so that you could use it to pump in, too.


Really, a storage room or even a closet would be vastly preferable to me than a bathroom. You could see about getting a table and chair and setting yourself up a pumping station.


If you do harbor a fear of being walked in on, you can always pump under a "hooter hider" or some other kind of breastfeeding cover.


Good luck!


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#6 of 8 Old 02-02-2011, 05:20 PM
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I was a bookkeeper for a grocery store while I was pumping. I had my own office, but there was a camera and recording equipment in it and management had the key. I made a sign with a picture of my baby that said something like "Please do not disturb - My mom is making my lunch!". There was no way to turn off the cameras - that's where the safe was, and if I was blocking the camera and money came up missing, it would look really bad. What I did do was take a look at where the camera was pointing and find a position to pump in that didn't expose me. I'm sure I flashed the camera a few times, but what can you do?
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#7 of 8 Old 02-02-2011, 05:23 PM
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I wanted to add that I considered pumping under a cover, but I decided I didn't care that much. If it bothered me more, I would have used one, though. Also, have you talked to your GM about the situation? Does he/she have any solutions? Having a good relationship with management can work wonders. My husband is actually a CVS manager, and while he hasn't had any pumping mothers as employees while he's been there, I know he'd go out of his way to find a good solution for someone who needed one.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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Your state may offer a better legal remedy (what state are you in?) but at the federal level you can try filing a complaint with the Department of Labor. It is not yet clear how this new law will be enforced but we won't know until someone asks. http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm

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