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Thread: help- pumping in workplace

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Question help- pumping in workplace

    I have a friend who just went back to work and was on her break, she went to the only room at our job that she can use to pump and our GM ( who is a man) was in a nearby room.
    She informed him she was going to be pumping so he wouldn't come in because there in no lock on the door.
    During this time a co-worker, who was on break as well, came into the room to talk to my friend. Then our GM came into the room asked my pumping friend if she was pumping?,where the baby was?, how long she was going to breastfeed for?- ALL while she was exposed and pumping !!!!!!

    She just called me from there extremely upset!!What are the laws regarding pumping at the workplace?? The workplace is in the state of Maryland. We need to be informed to let this GM know the law!!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: help- pumping in workplace

    That must have been so frustrating for her!

    Here's our LLL pages on laws that relate to breastfeeding http://www.lalecheleague.org/LawMain.html

    Can the mother push her chair up against the door while she's pumping, so her body and the chair she's in will prevent people from walking in? Maybe she can sit on the floor with her back against the door? Some mothers make a little sign to hang on the door of the room they are pumping in, just saying something along the lines of "Please Knock" or "Do Not Disturb" with a picture of the baby on it.

    Her co-workers may need to be educated on the benefits of her feeding her baby her milk while they are apart - including less sickness, so fewer days off worker, etc. I'm sure she knows most of the benefits.

    She might consider talking to her boss about this at a time when she's not pumping would be better for all involved. Her boss might also need to know how much time each day she'll be devoting to pumping (20min, 3x/day? 15min, 3x/day?). If boss allows smoke breaks, sometimes a gentle reminder of smoke breaks can also help her.

    Sometimes, these situations with the boss need to be handle delicately, and with finess, so no one gets mad. HR or personnal dept may be able to help, too.

    Finally, some women find success by pumping in their car, they can put a towel or blanket over the windows, use an adapter to plug the pump into the cigarette lighter, and do it that way. It can be a way of getting more privacy for your friend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: help- pumping in workplace

    Would the GM have come into the room to talk to her while she was changing her clothes if she had told him in advance that's what she was doing?! If he wouldn't violate her privacy then, why would he presume to do so while she was pumping? I know you have to be delicate about things in the workplace, in case of backlash, but really, if the circumstances were only slightly different, that would be a clear case of sexual harrassment. Am I overreacting or does anyone else see it that way???

    If I were in that situation, I'd definitely go to the boss and the GM's boss to talk about that specific situation.

    Also, in general, I'd talk to my boss and whoever else I needed to talk to to find a better situation for pumping. I have my own office, but no lock on the door. After getting walked in on a few times (despite shoving a chair up against the door), I requested a lock. Management was totally understanding and I got my lock, much to my surprise.

    We have one person in our office who works on the same project I do who hates pretty much everyone and everything. She particularly detests that I pump at work. She doesn't say anything directly, but makes a lot of irritated noise when I close the door to my office to pump. It really irked her that I got a door lock, btw. Fortunately, I'm above her in the "food chain" at work, so there's no way she can do anything to make pumping more difficult for me, but I do enjoy discussing it as much as possible and watching her get more and more angry about it. But aside from my childish enjoyment of irritating this one person with my pumping, I've had really good luck with a boss and co-workers who are generally very understanding.

    Best of luck to your friend!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: help- pumping in workplace

    If I were in that situation, I would go straight to the HR department and tell them what happened.
    I live in Maryland as well, and it is very legal to pump at work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: help- pumping in workplace

    Wow, lots of Maryland folks!

    I'm in Maryland, too. I have never had a problem with pumping at work, even in rooms without locks.

    I cannot believe the GM was so...WEIRD! I agree with the PP...report the incident to HR.

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