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Thread: Work won't provide dedicated room...

  1. #1

    Default Work won't provide dedicated room...

    I've been back at work for less than two weeks now. My company is a smallish non-profit - with about 80 employees.

    My company provided me a closet where I could pump. They did not let me know that others had a key - and despite the fact that I posted an "occupied" sign - Ive been walked in on twice while the door has been locked.

    I asked for another solution. They provided me a meeting room. I booked it in the calendar, but Im running into problems that - if Im not exactly on time, there is someone else having a meeting in there - leaving me with no place to pump when I need to.

    I went back to HR and they basically told me that if Im late its my fault and they have no better solution. Im incredibly frustrated by this as I know that my milk supply could dwindle if I start pushing my pumping from every 2.5-3 hours to 4+ hours. Its my understanding that my company needs to provide a space that is private that is "at will" - i.e. when I need to pump.

    Can anyone verify that this is correct and propose a solution, or am I stuck with my companies unwillingness.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    I'm not certain about the "at will" part. What state do you live in?

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    What's your work space like? Are you in a cubicle? Are the walls of the cube high enough to hang a sheet across the opening with a "do not disturb" sign and pump at your desk?
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    Have you tried using the closet with a more explicit sign that says, "PUMPING BREASTMILK - DO NOT DISTURB!"? That might get the idea across a little better. Can you physically block the door with a chair or something else that would screen you while you holler "Don't come in! I'm pumping breastmilk!"?

    I guess my advice is, if it's at all possible, I would try to work with your employers. It sounds like they are at least TRYING to accommodate you.

    I don't know the law in every state, but usually employment laws are subject to basic reasonableness - so in California, I know employers are not required to give you a location "at will." They are required to give you reasonable breaks to pump. Obviously, what is a "reasonable" number of breaks is subject to interpretation. So that makes it difficult, because different people might interpret that differently. So in your shoes, I would try to make one of those two locations (or a combination) work if at all possible. Another option would be to pump in your car - yeah, it's not ideal, but neither is a closet that people barge into. I ended up pumping in my car a lot because I travel for work, and I wasn't about to ask my CLIENTS for a pumping location. And you know, it was kind of nice. I just put on my nursing cover, got everything set up, listened to music and read my book.

    I hope you can work this out with your employer!

    ETA: I should also mention I pumped in a conference room that was sometimes used for meetings, and I also pumped in an utility closet with a sign on the door and a chair in front of the door! My office does not have an extra room that could be "dedicated" to pumping, so I worked with what we had. But when people knew what I was doing, they usually gave me a very wide berth!
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; May 25th, 2011 at 04:33 PM.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    Im having some simular problems and though I cant be of any help just wanted to send your way and let you know your not alone.
    If your in the US you could check out the *department of labor* web site they have info on the federal laws, the company I work for dosnt really think they have to fallow them though

    sorry for your troubles -Jenn
    Im Jenn
    Mamma To:
    Kelsey BF 3 months
    Kenneth BF 3 months
    Blaze BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Bristol BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Raiden BF 15months & counting


    In need of some


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    IME it's better to just be flexible with what your employer offers - ie, be on time to the conference room. Because while they're required to provide space, they're also allowed to make the time that you pump unpaid ... i don't know if that would ever be a possibility for them.

    Then again, I pumped in a bathroom for almost 15 months and never said a peep
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    I agree with the PP, I'd try switching back to the 'closet space' with a lock and put a more specific sign on it. It may seem a bit embarrassing but is probably you best bet. Maybe make it a funny sign like "Taking care of baby business be out in 10 min, please don't disturb" that way your being a bit vague, but not really? I'd say that by providing the closet and/or conference room, they are meeting the requirements of federal law.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Northern CA

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    I agree with pp. The closet sounds like your best chance at privacy. In my experience, most non-mothers are embarrassed to even talk about pumping and they would be mortified to actually see it being done . If you make a really obvious and conspicuous sign they likely will leave you alone. I pumped in a bathroom for over a year with DS, and I have been using the same spot for the last 6 months with DD. I am very up front when I have to pump. The time is scheduled in the computer system, and I usually announce to everyone where I am going. This is partially out of necessity, but also helps with privacy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    The closet sounds like the best bet to me too! I'd wear a nursing cover and post a more obvious sign.

    I'm SO JEALOUS of mamas who tell me about the private lactation rooms (with locks!) that they have access to. It's hard to stay positive when things seem so difficult, but you are doing the best for your baby!

    My LO was NEVER sick for the first two years of his life, so I figure the year I spent pumping in a restroom was worth it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Work won't provide dedicated room...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*staryla View Post
    My LO was NEVER sick for the first two years of his life, so I figure the year I spent pumping in a restroom was worth it.
    i bet it was!
    I dont have a helpful solution just a bit of a question, i honestly dont understand why you would need locked pumping rooms, in my country NIP is not an issue, so neither is "PIP" (?) not so much in public as... well the women I know usually go to the restroom and jut do it, i know its a completely different culture and that you feel you need your privacy but... well, no matter what the circumstances are i think its great youre pumping to provide milk to your LO whiel youre away, its much better than formula, I hope you find a solution to your problem

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