Hi! I just wanted to know if its worth pursuing Legal action against my employer regarding pumping at work. I live and work in NYC, where they passed a law in 2007 (Section 206-c, wording below).
Here is a synopsys of what happened:
Prior to Maternity leave, I requested a lock for my office door so I could pump. I never heard back from the Office Admin and when I did, a week before I returned she said that it would need to be approved, but I could use the handicap bathroom.
After numerous emails with our HR person and Office Admin's Manager I was denied a lock (even with their knowledge of a co-worker walking in while I was pumping - I had a Do Not Distrub sign on my door and a chair to block the door from opening). She denied it because it would cost $300 to install the lock by a locksmith in NYC. However, before they realized I lived in NYC they approved the lock thinking I worked in an office where my company is headquartered in a different state.
In the end, I wasn't offered any substitute office space for my pumping and I ended up having to spend 1 morning actually switching my door knob with a co-worker's door knob that had a lock. This was done without approval or knowledge.
Would you pursue this?
It just gets me so upset that people in this day and age would be so unsympathetic to a new mom who is pumping. What's even worst is that all people were female!
New York Labor Law Section 206-c, the Rights of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk passed in 2007:
Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section 206-c to read as follows:
S 206-C. RIGHT OF NURSING MOTHERS TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK.
1. AS USED IN THIS SECTION "EMPLOYER" SHALL MEAN AN INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, PART- NERSHIP, LABOR ORGANIZATION, UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION OR ANY AGENCY OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE.
2. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, AN EMPLOYER SHALL PROVIDE REASONABLE PAID BREAK TIME OF AT LEAST FIFTEEN MINUTES, AND AT LEAST TWO SUCH BREAKS DURING ANY SIX HOUR PERIOD, DURING WORK HOURS FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK FOR HER NURSING INFANT FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS FOLLOWING CHILD BIRTH. THE EMPLOYER SHALL PROVIDE A PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION SUITABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPRESSING MILK, LOCATED IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE WORK AREA, NOT INCLUDING A BATHROOM STALL OR STORAGE AREA. NO EMPLOYER SHALL PENALIZE OR DISCRIMINATE IN ANY WAY AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE WHO CHOOSES TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK IN THE WORK PLACE.
3. AN EMPLOYER SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUIRE VERIFICATION FROM A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS EXPRESSING BREAST MILK FOR HER NURSING INFANT.