Do Moms Have the Right to Pump Breastmilk at Work?
A new mom recently fired from a North Texas Bob’s Steak and Chop House has filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit against her ex-employer after she was allegedly ridiculed and harassed for pumping breast milk at work.
According to the mother, she was forced to pump in an unclean bathroom. After complaining to management, her workload was reduced. She was eventually fired after a customer complained about her on Yelp, a popular business review site.
Does Texas Have Laws Protecting Breastfeeding Mothers at Work?
Texas law is very clear that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be (Texas Health & Safety Code, Sec. 165.002). Federal law, too, provides for a breastfeeding mother through the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates that employers give reasonable break time to employees to express breast milk for up to one year after the birth of a child.
Breastfeeding is completely natural and is an important and basic act of nurturing a baby. It should be encouraged, not ridiculed. Section 165.001 of the Texas Health & Safety Code calls breastfeeding “the best method of infant nutrition,” a finding backed up by a variety of literature describing the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child.
Denying or ignoring a breastfeeding mother’s need to pump milk on the job can raise serious legal issues, but this does not stop many employers from making it difficult. If you have experienced a similar situation with your employer, an experienced employment law attorney could be a vital asset for you.
Atkerson Law – Dallas Employment Attorney