How Employers Make It Impossible For Working Women To Breastfeed by Dave Jamieson

After a Walmart employee wrapped up her maternity leave in 2015, she walked into her Carson City, Nevada, store with an electric breast pump in tow. She was intent on breastfeeding her new baby. Walmart was legally obligated to help her do it by providing a private space and enough breaks so she could pump breast milk. But the slow-moving disaster that unfolded over her first weeks back illustrated the many challenges breastfeeding moms like her still face on the job. 

At first, management told her she would have to pump in the store’s fitting rooms, but there was no outlet for her to plug in her electric pump. She asked if she could use an extension cord and was told it would be a tripping hazard.

So she wound up pumping in the store’s employee training room. The law states the space must be “free from intrusion,” but she later said managers and co-workers walked in on her several times when her breasts were exposed ― sometimes even holding group meetings in her presence. Managers told her she could use a space next to the electrical server room, but it was dirty and a sign on the door warned of danger from high voltage. 

Management’s next best solution was to provide her with a manual pump to use in the fitting room. But her body had grown accustomed to the electric pump, and her milk production dropped off sharply when she started using the manual one. The lack of milk left her baby hungry. Her colleagues saw her crying at work and pooled money to buy her the baby formula she apparently couldn’t afford. 

Read the full article @ The Huffington Post
Photo by Dave Clubb on Unsplash

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