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Thread: My boss is harassing me- need advice please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    23

    Angry My boss is harassing me- need advice please!

    My boss is the free-loading son of the owner of the pharmacy where I have been working for the past 3 1/2 years. Thursday afternoon he was offended when I complained about the work ethic of his younger brother (also a free-loader) and when I went to pump at 3 pm, like I have been doing for the past three months, he stopped me.

    "I'm not telling you that you have to pump in the bathroom, but you can't pump in here (the rarely used conference room) because we need this room and when you are in here we can't use it. I'm going to "let" you use the encap room instead." The encap room is the nastiest room in the entire building. This is where all the loose powders are raked into empty capsules, and it is dusty and full of chemicals. The bathroom is probably cleaner; it is cleaned every night. Then after telling me this he berates me for complaining to him about his brother because he isn't his brother's supervisor. Naturally I was upset Thursday, but I kept it to myself (mostly). When other people found out what room, he was forcing me to go into, they were furious! This made me feel so GOOD, that it wasn't just me overreacting, right.


    Well, Friday night one of my co-workers told me that he came to her Thursday and rudely asked,"How many times a day does Katie pump? She's always in the conference room!" Supposedly she set him straight by explaining that I pump TWICE daily- once at 10 am (Before he gets to work mind you) and again at 3 pm, for a total of 20 minutes each time. Seeing as how I am working 9 hour days, this hardly constitutes me pumping ALL the time. Additionally, why would he go to a co-worker and not ME, or better still, my supervisor (since he had made it clear I shouldn't complain to him since he's not supervisor). I am not sure if this is considered "sexual harassment", but I have to be honest I feel harassed and picked on.

    Do any of you know if I have been wronged? Keep in mind the state of Alabama has very few employeee rights. For example, bosses aren't required to give you the standard 30 minute lunch and 2 15 minute breaks in Alabama like everyone thinks. So I realize he's not required to LET me pump. I guess right now what I am most mad about is that he was complaining to a co-worker about MY breasts! Any thoughts on the matter? I am trying to bide my time and bite my tongue, but I'm not very good at that!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: My boss is harassing me- need advice please!

    This LLL article gives some great information about this issue and related issues.
    I'm so sorry you are going through this.
    Maybe he's just being a jerk and it will blow over.
    Even if they're not legally required to give you breaks, do they give employees regular breaks and is the break policy written in an employee manual or something? If you are using your regular breaks to pump while others use them to smoke or shop or whatever, your employer would be discriminating against you by not allowing you to pump during your break.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: My boss is harassing me- need advice please!

    If the encap room is that filthy, it's probably a health and safety hazard. Maybe a call to the regulator would be in order.
    As to the pumping, don't know what AL law is, but there might be federal antidiscrimination laws that apply, or maybe Section 504 - Other Health Impaired. Have you tried getting a dr's note saying you have to pump for your and/or LO's medical needs? Good luck dealing with this a**h***.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: My boss is harassing me- need advice please!

    Your boss seems to have something against you and is using the pumping as a way to harras you further. Please continue to use your breast pump regardless of his ignorance. What I would suggest is taking 10 minute breaks to pump 3-4 times during your work shift. Eat at your desk or work space if you have to in order to make up your time. DO NOT JEAPORDIZE YOUR BREAST MILK SUPPLY BY SKIPPING SESSIONS JUST TO MAKE THE BOSS HAPPY. He sounds like a toilet paper wipe!!!

    Hang in there. Pray, relax and do breathing exercises to help reduce stress that can make your supply go down.

    P.S. I experienced something similar when I came back to work and had to pump. My boss would pretend to need me as soon as I would go in the conference room, she'd knock on the door and hollar through the door asking questions about work, then had complaints that I was away from my desk too much. I totally ignored the complaints and did what I needed to do for the sake of my baby. I do not regret it at all!

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