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BFing sister needs advocacy help!

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 10:53 PM
  • 12 Replies

I am so angry I am fuming! My sister calls me this evening and tells me that her supervisor at work called her into a meeting today to discuss her "pumping breaks" They have been giving her grief for weeks now, causing her major stress and anxiety and pumping issues at work. Now they tell her that they decided they will no longer pay her for her pumping breaks. Fine, the law says they don't have to pay her, they just have to allow her the breaks. They want her to change the times she pumps...not possible. She has to stay on schedule. They deliberately change meeting times so she cannot pump at the time she needs to. They are complaining that someone has to cover for her during her "breaks" MY gosh, it's not like she is a smoker stepping out to puff a butt! She is pumping breastmilk for her baby!!! She is to the point that she isn't even pumping what Sayde is taking when she is at work and so desperately does NOT want to suppliment with formula. They are doing to bare minimum provided by law but making it absolutely miserable and impossible for her to productively pump. I am ready to launch an attack on the business, but my sister wants to wait until she finds another job. What can we do??

by on May. 26, 2010 at 10:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jackiewal10
by Silver Member on May. 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM

BUMP!

jessica39232
by on May. 26, 2010 at 10:58 PM

 I'm so sorry for your sister, heres a bump since I don't know what she can do...

lifetimelove
by on May. 27, 2010 at 12:19 AM

Oh, I remember you talking about her before.  Is there an HR department?  She should file a formal complaint, and document.  Tell them that if they want her to change things, they need to put it in writing.  Let them know if they continue the harrassment, then she will call the local ACLU chapter. 

gdiamante
by Gina on May. 27, 2010 at 12:46 AM

She needs to file a complaint with HR. That's unfortunatley all she can do shy of getting another job.

lupe_wheeler
by on May. 27, 2010 at 12:48 AM

BUMP!

gdiamante
by Gina on May. 27, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Oh. One more thing. If anyone is being allowed break flexibility for smoke breaks, she's got a lawsuit on her hands and can let them know that. It would go to the labor board.

If they are obeying the law to the letter, there's not a lot of leeway. But she should know there is a TON of leeway in pumping schedules. If she has to shift it a bit, her supply WILL adjust. Been there done that. I've never really had jobs that allowed for specific break times. As long as I hit it within an hour either way I was fine.

She might just try not letting it rattle her, pump when they DO allow it and not worry about it. That's honestly more disconcerting to bosses who are trying to get employees to quit (and by the way, that's just what they're doing...she oughta lawyer up).

2ndchancemommy
by on May. 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

She DOES accamodate them....all the time. She needs to pump somewhere around 9 am, then she pumps on her lunch break, and then again around 3 or 4 pm. She even still answers the phones while she is pumping, just to help them out...and that's unpaid. She has gone above and beyond for them, but they are really giving her grief about pumping. Oh, and she is the "HR" department. It's a small local business.

 

GRR, I am still angry about it! I am working on helping her find a new job, and once we find her something I am launching a boycott and media attack on the business!

scarlet_willow
by on May. 27, 2010 at 11:20 AM

If I were her, I'd find a differnt job.  Even if you and she could threaten them into complying, i just would not feel comfortable working in such a hostile environment.  It is their right to do the bare minimum required under the law, although it really isn't the right or moral thing to do.  I would find a better employer.  Just out of curiosity, what type of business is this?  I can think of some jobs that would just be incredibly difficult to do while taking pumping breaks. 

Good for you for being such a supportive sister!  :)

new_mom808
by on May. 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Okay all the PPs have great advice.... Follow those avenues first.
BUT if HR, quitting etc are not options or get nowhere let her know this.
The schedule thing is flexible. She can pump before or after a "surprise" meeting. She can pump while she's at home and nursing too. Pumping first thing in the am usually gets the best results of the day. Can she pump during that nursing session? Make sure she knows exactly how much milk she needs to pump in a day to keep up w/ baby. It is stressful, and takes a lot of work, but these obstacles can be overcome.
@ 3 months I started really struggling to respond to the pump. Around 6 months I totally stopped letting down for the pump and pumping at work became moot. We still made it to 1 year with no formula. It really can be done. It's just super aggervating. My entire pumped supply from that point on came from pumping WHILE nursing.

gdiamante
by Gina on May. 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM


Quoting 2ndchancemommy:

GRR, I am still angry about it! I am working on helping her find a new job, and once we find her something I am launching a boycott and media attack on the business!

Don't wait. Do it now. I do mean that. Worst that can happen is they let her go, and she usually can collect unemployment. Yes, even when fired for cause! Been there done that.

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