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need help at work

711 Views 11 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  AvalonDaughter
I was told last night at work that I wasn't allowed to pump at work, and that if I was caught pumping I would be fired. I need any help I can get on this subject. I just called my doctor to get a doctor's note for pumping. I spent most of last night very upset and am not too sure what to do about this.

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OMG... you ought to call a LLL leader in your area - she might have some legal resources you can call on...

Other than that, I can't offer much than shared anger and support! You have a medical need to pump for your baby... asking your employer to accommodate that should fall under the same legal umbrella as asking an employer to accommodate you for taking medication or needing wheelchair access. But I don't know if it does. I bet you do have a strong legal ground to stand on, though!

GL and I hope your employer comes around so you don't need to fight about this!!!
OMG! You should research your state laws and see what you can use to defend yourself! then I would show up with a letter and threaten with a lawsuit if it comes down to that... they CANNOT tell you not to pump. Where do you work? it sounds like these people have no idea that there are laws that protect you.. in my part-time job, I told them in the job interview that I would have to pump every 2 hours and that sometimes it could take me up to 15 minutes per time (it doesn't, but I didn't want to be pressured) they are fine with it, and if they weren't... boy would they be in trouble.
Wow. Stunning.

It looks like MA doesn't really care about breastfeeding:

Article on discussing breastfeeding and working issues:

You have a LITTLE baby. If you are normally pumping/nursing during the day, a sudden cessation of pumping will put you at serious risk for plugged ducts and mastitis (which will equal missing work).

Calling the doc is a good first step. If the ped won't write the note, maybe your midwife/OB will.
Call you local LLL leader.
Talk to HR where you work.
Ask you boss what his (?) problem with your pumping is. (Maybe it's just a stupid reason?? Maybe you can work out a mutually agreeable solution?)
Find allies at work. Any other bf moms? Any dad's whose wives bf?

Please update us on how things progress.
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I know here in VA it is against the law to not provide a seperate place for BF'ing, and it cannot be the bathroom. (At least that's what I was told at a BF'ing class I went to while I was still pregnant)

I took a look at that LLL link posted above and am completely shocked
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Gee, what a horrible employer!

I agree with the others - use a doctor's note about medical necessity. I can't see it's much different from someone with a bladder condition who must go to the toilet more often than the norm. Surely your employer must accept a medical reason. Gee even judges accept that for jury duty. Your employer needs a reality check fast.

While you're getting this sorted out, is pumping in your car an option?

Just wanted to say so sorry to hear about your employer who clearly knows nothing about valuing employees..
That said, are you using unpaid time (break/lunch) to pump? Do you get that time? If so, I don't understand how they could deny you the right to do want you want during your time off??? Is the issue they feel you are "stealing" time from the company? Can you offer to stay an extra half hour (or whatever amount of time it takes) if you don't get break/lunch time? Try to figure out the underlying issue, I think you have the best chance of "winning" your case if you can address what their problem is with the situation. For example, if they feel you are using company time, offer to stay a little longer (if you can)...if they feel it is an inconvenient time or location you've chosen, try to be flexible if you can and also to educate them...they may not know very much about bf... Also, what is the chance of finding a new job at a more progressive company??

Good luck!
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Grrrr!! That makes me so angry. I cannot say anything that has not already been said. I hope you can work it out, especially if you really need that job. Are you willing to take a risk and raise a big stink? It would be great if you could afford to, but I can certainly understand the fear when you need to keep your job. I really hope you can get a docs note and/or work it out with your employer. Was it your boss that told you or another coworker?
That is so outrageous! What type of work do you do?

Do people at your work take smoke breaks? If so, I would tell your boss if you have to stop pumping, you're going to start smoking, which over the course of the day will add up to much more time.

is there a state legislator you can contact to ask for more supportive breastfeeding laws?

Also, I know this may be more than you want to bite off, but new laws get made in court. I bet you could get a lawyer to work pro-bono and help you sue your employer for the right to pump.

WTF??!! I mean, what do you think is the motivation behind this edict?
also, if you didn't use up all of your family medical leave act over maternity leave, you can tell them that you are going to take the rest of it incrementally, in two 20 minute periods per day (or whatever you plan to use for pumping). you might have to go to your car (which would suck, but not be the end of the world). from doing HR work, i know that incremental FMLA is not only totally legal and recognized (its designed to allow people time for drs appointments for cronic illnesses), but it's also a real PITA to keep track of. my guess is that they wouldn't bother. i would also suggest that you domcument anything you are told and ask for it in writing. - also put your request for incremental FMLA in writing. good luck, hun.
Oh, that makes me so mad! Why some people are so thick-headed is beyond me. Here's a link on suggestions from LLL:

HTH! and a
for you!
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Call LLL at the national office.

Also call a family law lawyer in your area and discuss this with them. Maybe you can get help to change the law in your state!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, write to places like Working Mother magazine and let them know about this unfamily friendly empolyer. Nothing like shaming them into submission.

Call your state representative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let them know what is happening. Perhaps you can get the law changed that way

Best of luck
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